By: Sheila Kun RN, BSN, MS, CPN, FCCP
Abstracted by Sheila Kun RN, BA, BSN, MS
From The Overwhelmed Woman’s Guide to … Caring for Aging Parents
By Julie-Allyson Ieron
Last week we began to explore ways to help seniors cope with their loss of independence due to aging by in depth discussion on these two strategies: Easing the tension and helping them Feel loved. We continue to seek more solutions to help our seniors by:
Helping Them Feel Trustworthy
Experts agree another way to help our seniors through the stages of aging is by affording them as much decision-making participation as possible. With advanced dementia patients, this won’t be as feasible. But in general, the more we respond to their needs as team players rather than bosses, the calmer responses we’ll receive from them. It’s a matter of helping them feel that their physical limitations have not robbed them of the credibility they ‘ve worked a lifetime to establish.
In an article titled “Talking Points,” Dr. Carol Anderson writes: When talking with your aging seniors, it’s important to use an approach that let them know that you want to understand him or her better and that you are not trying to take over his or her life. Your approach should show a willingness to work together…. It’s also important to emphasize their strengths rather than dwell on any weaknesses.
Helping Them Feel Valuable
That last bit of counsel leads to another way we can have a positive impact on our parents’ moods – by dwelling on their best assets. It’s a biblical concept. Paul writes, “Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8bNLT). We ‘ve often responded better to circumstances beyond our control when someone couched his comments with an acknowledgment of what we’d done right – rather than diving into a litany of our shortcomings.
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