In a perfect world, we could neatly compartmentalize our caregiving duties, sticking to a routine that met the requirements of our parents, while allowing the time necessary to manage our wide variety of other responsibilities. But needless to say, life doesn’t adhere to our desired script, and conflicting needs are not unusual when caring for elderly parents. Many seniors balk at the need for help, while others may come to depend too greatly on an adult child, leading to unfulfilled expectations and ultimately frustration for both parties.
JFS Care’s senior care specialists provide the following recommendations to help explain expectations and communicate successfully:
- Emphasize empathy. Instead of drawing away from an older loved one whose demands seem unreasonable, pause and empathize. Think through the issues your senior loved one is facing, and how it might feel to be in his or her shoes. Then communicate your genuine concern and wish to help.
- Permit each other to be heard. Start a discussion with your senior loved one, encouraging him or her to convey how it feels to be in need of care, and what kind of care is necessary. Identify what the senior’s expectations are, and then share your personal expectations and limitations in having the capability to completely meet his or her needs.
- Compromise to come to a solution. Reaching a resolution that works for both of you may be easier than you believe. For example, if the older adult expects help with transportation based on a particular schedule several times a week, perhaps you can provide that assistance one day, while enlisting the aid of others to cover additional days. This allows for increased socialization for the older adult plus the healthy life balance you need.
JFS Care, a branch of Jewish Family Services of Los Angeles, is prepared to partner with family caregivers with highly trained, thoroughly matched care professionals who are passionate about making life the best it can be for cherished older adults. Working with JFS Care enables adult children caring for elderly parents to ensure they are well taken care of all of the time, whether by filling in with respite care where needed, through around-the-clock live-in care, or a variety of solutions in between. Just a few of the various ways we are able to help include:
- Safe, accompanied transportation
- Running errands
- Planning and preparing nourishing meals
- Keeping the home clean and neat
- Offering friendly companionship to brighten each day
- Creative and highly specialized care for those diagnosed with dementia
- And much more