Talking With Your Parent: 5 Ways to Open the Lines of Communication

Caring for your elderly parents can be a challenging task. As the body gets older, it falls victim to a number of health problems, which can be difficult for us to cope with. Seniors often become depressed and upset over small things because their bodies are unable to keep up with their minds. Other seniors will have mental health problems, which takes its toll on them and everyone around them. You will need to make some simple modifications to their home and shop for things that you may not have imagined like inconsistence pads and enemas. If you need help picking up supplies for your elderly parents, here is a great web site to visit:

Communication and caring for your parents.
In order to properly care for your elderly parents, you need to learn how to communicate with them. Here are 5 simple ways you can open the lines of communication and build a strong and healthy relationship with your parents:   
1.  Show them respect. Just because you need to come over every morning and get them ready for the day does not mean they are a child. Your parents want you to still look upon them as the parents, not as an infant that needs care. Show them respect by treating them as your equal. You still need to sit down with them and ask them for advice and their opinions. Give them the opportunity to share their opinions instead of making it for them. They need to make their voice heard; even if you think what they have to say is a little odd.

 2.  Learn how to listen to your elderly parents. Parents like to be heard by their children, no matter what age they are. You need to respect them by listening to what they have to say. Truly listen to them instead of pretending to listen. When they are talking, give them your complete attention. Sit down with them and let them tell stories for hours and engage in fun conversations. Sometimes listening can be difficult and you may not hear exactly what they said, so you need to follow up with clarification questions. This is a great way to make their life a little easier and to make your care giving time more enjoyable.    

 3.  Remain calm. Elderly parents may be slipping into the early stages of dementia and sometimes they say things that they don’t mean. Many researchers have found that some elderly people tend to think they can say whatever is on their mind and people cannot combat it because they are “old”. Be mindful of things that your elderly parents may say that are hurtful. Instead of lashing out at them when they say something hurtful, take a deep breath and walk away. If they continue to exhibit this behavior, kindly confront them about it and express your feelings. You may need to talk to their doctor about it because they may have dementia or it could indicate that they have suffered a small stroke.  

 4.  Have rules and boundaries. As a caregiver you are giving up a large part of your life for your elderly parents. They will recognize this sacrifice and devotion to them so you don’t need to constantly tell them. It is important for you to set some boundaries and rules with your elderly parents to keep your relationship strong and healthy. Let them know that some of their requests are unreasonable and learn how to tell them no. If your elderly parents cause too much stress on other loved ones, try to limit your visit at that person’s home. Keeping it short and sweet may be easier for some of your siblings that do not understand dementia.
5.  Love them. The best way to open up the lines of communication with your parents is to simply love them. Acknowledge when they do things that try to help you out. They may not be able to do things the way you want, but they are trying. Always tell them how much you appreciate them and love having them in their life so they know they are needed.

About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wisc. Visit to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353.


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