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Can You Accept Help Easily?

Can You Accept Help Easily?

You want your parents to feel your love. You need to help them with love.

Have you ever received an offer of help from someone else for something you can do easily yourself? Do you recall how it felt? Perhaps you wondered if they thought you were stupid or incapable. Perhaps you felt insulted. Maybe you just felt judged, or judged unfairly.

It is frustrating enough to not be able to easily do something you have done all your life, but when you add the frustration of feeling insulted, it leaves you feeling helpless or angry or both. If you feel that way, then perhaps you can understand why your repeated offers of help may not be the very thing your older parent most wants to hear.

There is a sense of self pride we have about the basic things we just do automatically. Frankly, it is not really someone else’s business. Then suddenly people begin talk to you like they are in charge of your personal self-care.

How can you help someone that does not yet accept that they need help . . . and do so with love?

On the way to something more exciting . . . reframe a problem as an opportunity.

Perhaps you are heading out for a social occasion, a walk, or a trip to the store and your parent is struggling with dressing. After they make a few attempts, you might refocus the conversation to the fun thing you are about to do together and just lend a hand once the excitement is built for the activity – so they feel joy and anticipation rather than frustration at the untied shoelace.

You might assist only to offer speed in your excitement together, rather than a judgement that they are incapable.

Perhaps it would be better to get a different style of shoe on the next shopping trip, and avoid the problem entirely.

You want to help people feel joy and a sense that they are still capable. Multiple ways to express joy can be found in the moment of an anticipated fun activity, if one is not focusing on frustration about lack of speed or having to wait.

Going Along with the Rules of the Road

It was time for my mother to stop driving. She was 85. We knew she wasn’t safe on the road and could get lost easily. My Dad did not know how to approach this and wanted to go to the DMV and not renew her license. So, we went together and discovered together that a new type of picture ID card was offered if you were not getting a license.

Together we explained that we wanted her to have this new type of card and we put the attention on taking her picture for it. When she asked about driving, we explained that we would both drive her now and she could take a break from having to drive us anymore. It was our turn to drive her in return for her years of service to us.

Rather than a negative encounter, we expressed the love we felt about taking her in return for the years she drove us. And the focus on the new card and picture helped the day be full of joy instead of a disaster at the DMV.

If you have another member of the family and together you can pose a united willingness to help with a new approach, then an elderly parent can feel more loved than judged.

Here is something new we can try together!

“Back-in-the-day” alternatives did not exist. But with taxis, and Uber, or even public transit, exploring a new way to get from here to there can be fun. Look up “GoGoGrandparent” online with them. Read the blog together. Talk about the custom pickup features and the voice commands we can use. Then try setting a ride up together.

It is like calling a “limousine service” like the old days, so you might make that grand analogy. And if you set up the calls for them, it is not a new task they must learn at first. Text alerts can even keep the family in the loop and know the ride happened safely.

The new options for food delivery and grocery or drugstore deliveries are wonderful and so inexpensive. Have an adventure exploring them together.

Baby Steps . . . just try first, then again, as much as needed.

Offering to serve the tea, or bring some cheese and crackers to the couch, is a small item and does not imply your companion is incapable. Slowly turn the simple helpful things into normal activities. It takes time to build new routines.

Purchasing Assistance Can also be Tested Slowly Too

Did you know that you can book one day of home care assistance first as an experiment rather than a full week? When you offer a small or simple thing to try, it is more like offering a kindness than just replacing someone’s ability to do all daily tasks.

Work your way from one small success to another and celebrate all these new things together like experiments we are trying. Allow time before it is essential to completely switch to the new service. Invest in slow weaning to grow new habits.

Doctor’s Orders

The generation to which your parents belong did have respect for “Doctor’s Orders.” If the new changes do not come from you but come instead from a doctor, they may be more readily accepted. You can book an appointment for Mom or Dad to see their doctor and let the doctor discuss those awkward topics, instead of you. It is always most useful to tip off the doctor about your goal ahead of time, just to be sure he or she sets you up for success with your parent’s new need.

Try us out at Homecare Assistance soon to start your new routines.

Call 919-844-9898 to Speak with a Care Manager Now

Skilled non-Medical Hourly and Daily Home Care For Elderly & Senior Adults

Balanced Care Method

Learn about our Balanced Care Method

The Balanced Care Method™, exclusive to Home Care Assistance, is based on the scientifically studied lifestyle choices of the longest and healthiest living population on earth: the seniors of the Okinawa region of Japan. Life spans of over 100 years are not unusual in Okinawa.

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6512 Six Forks Road,Suite 205A,
Raleigh, North Carolina 27615