There is a common viewpoint that as people, we have become less sensitive to the core morals and ethics which we were taught as we grew up. We all have superfast lives and time management has become increasingly difficult. And taking care of the elderly has become a sensitive issue.
For those who have lost their perspective, and are looking for a reason, a reason to go through all of the pain of the elderly together, we might contemplate why they act the way they do and why are they in need of the care and time. They come across the qualms of memory lapse and forgetfulness, with the growing anxiety of being in unfamiliar surroundings. And then there is the frustration budding due to their dependence on walkers, canes, oxygen supplies or wheelchairs. It is not uncommon for people to not have had a perfect childhood or a pretty ‘messed up’ relationship with their parents. But the smart thing to do is to look forward and not in the past, therein lays the answer. You know that if you could turn back in time, both of you would have done everything in your power to ensure that things were different. However hard it might be, happiness will always be in forgiving and forgetting.
Job is keeping you busy?
Even if you have a job that keeps you busy or you are too busy taking care of your home and children, you can always find time to be there for your elderly, by the little things you do. Being the caretaker of your parents can be hectic. But life is not easy. Give them due time and attention with a stance of love, not compulsion or something you got to do. Spending the traditional holidays by themselves can be the most overwhelming feeling for them. So make it a point to be with them and enjoy some quality time.
Engage Engage Engage!!
Talk about life, work, their life experience and you might be surprised to hear their responses and their happy faces. Play a game or watch a movie over television. Gift them a special comforter or a pashmina or their favourite cookies. Make the holidays what it’s really about- family. Give them a soothing hand or back massage. If you have children, leave them for some time with their grandparents as this is one thing that every elderly craves for.
And when the holidays are not around, it never takes up a whole lot of your time to check up on them once in a while, say every other weekend or visiting them with flowers unannounced on your way back from work and help them make dinner.
Make your elderly feel your presence
Some might be embarrassed of their deteriorating mental and physical functioning, empathize. If they are in a facility, give them a warm hug and smile every time, ask how they feel. Try to spend an afternoon with them during weekends. If suffering from dementia, give them a picture book, which they can comprehend easily and enjoy. And enjoy their peculiarities, embrace them. You might be short of patience at times, but fight back your frustration and echo it to your dignity that they deserve the best.
It is a universally known fact that one day we will be in their shoes and have to go through what they are going through now. But don’t make it the reason to care for them. Do it because you love them, and they were there, wishing all the best things for you all along.
Today’s guest post is contributed by Suzie Hart. She works for a home health agency who try to make people more aware of their rights so that they can lead a more dignified and happy life.
Image courtesy of Graur Razvan Ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net