Having a senior parent requires you to become more patient and understanding. “The responsibility of providing care for an aging or ill loved one is a challenge in its own right,” says Carol Bradley Bursack. There are many things that you have to consider when it comes to dealing with an old parent. One of these is his interest in knowing about the latest updates in your life. This is why you have to make it a habit to visit him on a regular basis. Do not let a week pass without coming over to your parent’s house or visiting him in a senior care facility. Below are some of the topics that he would love to discuss and talk about:
Provide your senior father with information about the latest news in your family. Let him know the exciting details about your children. He will be happy to hear about the achievements of your kids. At the same time, let him know the status of your marriage. Talk about how delighted you are with married life. Take note that your happiness is his happiness.
Your old parent also wants to get some updates on your work. Do not hesitate to talk about your latest promotion in the office. At the same time, open up about your daily encounters in the workplace, regardless of how big or small the story is. He just wants to find out if you love what you do. If you have some problems at work, feel free to share it with your senior dad. He might be able to give you some advice on how to do it.
Steven Zarit’s,Ph.D. advice to the adult child: “Do not pick arguments. Do not make a parent feel defensive. Plant an idea, step back, and bring it up later. Be patient.”
Whether you like it or not, financial matters are some of the topics that you have to discuss with your parents. If you are the one handling his finances, then be sure to inform him about the movement of his bank accounts. Be honest about all the transactions.
On the other hand, if your senior parent is the one who is handling the money, find a subtle way of asking him the status of his finances. Money talks can be awkward at first, but once you master the proper way of doing it, everything will become a breeze.
You also need to inquire about the medical condition of your parents. Do not just rely on the reports given by his caretaker, nurse or doctor. As much as possible, make an effort to ask how is he doing on a daily basis. You might be surprised to find out that he has been withholding some information about his health. At the same time, do not forget to ask his comments on the senior care that he is receiving from the professionals.
Now that your parent is already past retirement age, all that he wants to do is get updates about your life. “Prioritize reassurance, validation, and emotional connection over rational explanations,” says Leslie Kernisan, MD MPH. He just wants to become part of your success and daily stories. Make sure that you let him experience such a thing. The process of caring for your old dad can be challenging. But at the end of the day, you will feel that it is highly fulfilling.