If there is one thing that you need to know about seniors, it is the fact that most of them are already impatient and grouchy. Just remember that this change in attitude is not all about you. Keep in mind that the way they act or react to anything you say and do is affected by several factors. Because of all these, it is highly recommended that you exert more understanding when it comes to dealing with a senior parent. You need to put up with her new kind of attitude. “Empathize with your parents,” says Christina Steinorth, MFT, a psychotherapist.
Below are some of the things to avoid when it comes to visiting an old parent:
Bringing Sweet Treats
You may be excited to visit your beloved parent, which is why you are thinking of bringing her some sweet treats. This is something that you need to rethink. Remember that these kinds of food can be dangerous to your mom, especially when she is already aging. Keep in mind that seniors are more prone to getting sick or experiencing medical problems. The presence of high sugar in cakes, chocolates and other sweet products can lead to health complications.
Shouting To Make Them Understand
Is your parent having difficulty in hearing what you are saying? Have you noticed that it takes her a long time to understand what you mean? If yes, then do not fret because this is only normal for aging individuals. “Understanding why parents may be “insisting, resisting, or persisting in their ways or opinions can lead to better communication,” according to Steven Zarit. It is important to note that as a person gets old, her senses may start to decline. The best thing to do is to approach and talk to your parents nicely. Find a way to make her comprehend what you are saying. Never shout as it can only make them feel bad.
Giving Out Complaints
If you are only interested in visiting a parent because you want to scold her, then maybe it is better to do it another time. Always remember that seniors are highly sensitive individuals. This means that your senior mom may get offended quickly, especially at times when you would air out complaints. You can still let her know about the things that are bothering you but do it on a day when you are in a good mood. This way, you would be able to control your emotions better.
Discussing Financial Matters Only
Make your old parents feel essential at all times. Let her know that you are visiting because you miss her. Avoid sharing your financial problems or discussing financial troubles with her. She may misinterpret your gesture of visiting her. Money talks can be complicated and make things more difficult for both of you. Instead, wait for her to open up about it before discussing the essential matters. Focus on more critical things such as getting updates about her health or finding out what she wants to do in the next few months.
“As your parents age you will feel a wide range of emotions,” says Maud Purcell, LCSW, CEAP. Visiting a senior parent must be your number one priority. Make it a habit of looking after the welfare of your old parent. A simple, caring gesture from you can already mean the entire world for them.