Caring for seniors Part III

By: Sheila Kun RN, BA, BSN, MS

Abstracted by Sheila Kun RN, BA, BSN, MS
From The Overwhelmed Woman’s Guide to … Caring for Aging Parents
By Julie-Allyson Ieron

Helping the seniors feel trustworthy and valuable are not the only tools we can deplore to work with grumpy old men and women. What if no positive talk or loving action can help? That’s when another savvy life principle kicks in: even if we can’t change someone else’s behavior, we can still change our own.

Changing Ourselves

As we are going about changing our attitudes toward care receivers, consciously laying down our rights to dispute with them may be on immediate answer. That much depends on us. I remember a psychologist describing this choice years ago. He said that in every crisis we have three options: put up our dukes and fight, run the other way and flee, or lie back and ride out the wave. When we discuss becoming our seniors’ advocate in medical situations, we will look into the put-up-your dukes’ options – because fighting for their best interests may be lifesaving. But fight against the seniors is counter-productive.

Fleeing, at least as a long-term solution, probably is not an option. So consciously choosing to go with the flow may be the most feasible choice. Having options and choices return the control to us – and that is a good thing.

Turning to Prayer and Friendship

We need praying friends to help hold us accountable and offer a semblance of sanity. We can pray! Whenever we do we will experience and know a closeness with those we pray with that we did not know before – it is called prayer friendship.

Another Look at the Humor

We may yet have one more choice in our arsenals. Martha Bolton writes in her book When the Going Gets Tough, The Tough Start Laughing.  ”With everything that may come our way, we can still have joy. Not a joy that denies or discounts pain, but a joy that wells up inside of us in spite of it.” A story illustrating this point was a senior moving all the patio furniture into the house because she reasoned that furniture did not belong outside. The caregiver could have scolded the senior, or chosen to lay back, go with the flow, and have a good belly laugh.

Your homework from the Care Ministry this week: identify a tough situation that you chose to react with humor. Did you feel better then?

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