It’s easy to hurt someone with the words you choose. For an aging parent, there are things adult children can say that can be hard to forget. Here are some of the things you should never say to a parent who is struggling with activities of daily living and aging at home.
You Already Told Me That.
When you say “you already told me that,” it’s upsetting. It can make someone with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia become overly frustrated or shut down and not want to talk to anyone. Fear of sounding stupid or being a burden is already there. To hear they’re being repetitive hurts. It’s best to listen to the same question and answer it repeatedly.
It’s For Your Own Good.
While something may be for your mom or dad’s own good, they don’t want to hear it. If you have to take them to the doctor or dentist and they’re resisting, don’t throw out a blanket statement like that. Instead, bring up exactly why it’s important to you.
You’re Too Old to Do That.
You don’t want your parent climbing a ladder to change a light bulb. Don’t tell your mom that she’s too old. It’s going to annoy her. Come up with a reason why you should do it. Tell her you need to get more exercise and climbing up and down a ladder works.
You No Longer Know Best.
Your parent has been the parent for decades. Telling your dad that he no longer knows best is going to irritate him. Try a gentler approach. Instead of giving him orders, explain to him that you’re here to help out. What can you do?
As you do things, ask him for input on the best way to do it. If his finances are a wreck, you can help him balance his checkbook to get back on track. Ask him questions to keep him involved. If you see a bill that seems high, ask him if he’s ever looked into asking for a discount. He’ll feel involved while you’re still getting the task done.
You Did It Wrong Last Time.
The last time your mom did a load of laundry, she used too much soap and it flowed out of the machine and all over the floor. Don’t point out that she did it wrong last time. Make it the fault of the soap. Say something like, “that soap really foamed up last time. If we use less, maybe it won’t happen again.”
When you see your parents struggling with household chores, transportation, and medications, bring in help. Senior care agencies can send caregivers that come to your parents home to help out and allow them to maintain independence while aging at home.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering senior care in Auburn, WA, please contact the caring staff at Wiser Care Services. Phone: (877) 279-5530. Serving all of Pierce County and South King County.