Caring for an aging parent is rewarding, but sometimes it may seem like he or she is purposefully causing you stress. Before you lose your temper, remember these five useful tips from Home Care Assistance San Antonio to maintain the health and happiness of both you and your senior loved one.
1. Remain Patient
In most cases, your elderly parent doesn’t mean to irritate you or stress you out. He or she may have developed a disease that affects his or her reasoning, or could be stressed about matters you aren’t aware of. You may feel an impulse to argue, but the best thing you can do is stay focused on your task of caring for him or her.
2. Let Your Loved One Talk
You may not want to listen to the story of the time your mom or dad went to the lake for the hundredth time, but he or she may appreciate the company. Remember your parent isn’t talking for a self-serving purpose, but because he or she actually wants to talk to you. Your parent cares about you and naturally he or she wants to keep you in the loop. Give them time to talk and share stories, and you will be surprised by how much they perk up.
3. Don’t Expect Appreciation
If your parent has an illness that affects his or her behavior, such as dementia, you may be waiting a long time before you receive any thanks. Even without illness, your mom or dad may be experiencing other issues that cause him or her to lash out. Remember that you are doing the best you can to care for your parent, and as long as you are confident in your abilities, you won’t need gratification from others.
4. Give Your Loved One Room to Be Independent
Your senior parent may fear losing his or her independence. He or she may feel helpless and ashamed that the child he or she was once responsible for is now the caregiver. Allow your parent to make as many independent decisions as possible and let him or her know that his or her opinion is valued. The more control your loved one has over his or her life, the less friction you will experience.
5. Take a Break and Focus on You
One of the best ways to gain perspective on how to handle challenging moments with your aging parent is to take a vacation, even if that means watching TV or reading a book for an hour. You work hard and are good to your loved one, so you deserve some relaxation time to yourself. Take a break whenever possible to refresh your mind before getting back to caring for your senior loved one.
Family caregivers can often feel overwhelmed when trying to meet their senior loved one’s care needs all on their own, but help is available. Reach out to Home Care Assistance to learn more about our care services, including senior respite care in San Antonio. An experienced hourly caregiver can help as needed, whether a few hours each day or a few days each week, ensuring you have the time you need to recharge without compromising the care, safety, and comfort of your loved one. For more information, contact us today at 210-495-6300.