Everyone has a different tolerance level. When you’re a family caregiver, even the calmest people can find themselves pushed a little too far. It’s not just you struggling to keep your cool.
You’re trying to feed your mom, but she hates everything you’ve offered. Your dad has an appointment in an hour and he’s refusing to get out of bed. You’re frustrated and ready to walk away. Patience isn’t always easy to maintain but try these tips. They can help you stay level-headed when your parents are being more resistant to care than you need.
Make Sure There Are No Underlying Causes for the Mood
A moody parent is one thing. There are situations where that mood is a symptom of something else. Is your dad’s refusal to get out of bed tied to depression? If it happens regularly for weeks, it could be. Your mom’s agitation could be a sign of a urinary tract infection or a side effect of a new medication. Talk to a doctor if the mood swings stick around.
Ask Your Parent Why They’re Having a Bad Day
You can just try asking your mom and dad why they’re having a bad day. They may feel a cold coming on. They may be tired of the same routine and want to try something new. It could simply be the weather has grown tiresome and cabin fever is kicking in. A change of scenery may be all that’s needed to improve your parent’s mood.
Learn to Walk Away
When your parent is being especially argumentative, walk away. Don’t keep the argument going. Walk away and do something else. If you have to cancel an appointment, call the scheduler and explain the situation. They may be willing waive a penalty or fee if they charge one for same-day cancellations. Odds are if you ignore your parent, your parent will come to you seeking conversation.
Pick Your Battles
Some struggles aren’t worth it. Your dad refuses to take a shower. You’re tired of fighting him. Let him go without for the day. You may find in a few hours that he’s more willing. The things you cannot skip include daily medications and doctor-ordered exercises following a fall, stroke, or bone fracture.
When Was the Last Time You Took a Day or Week Off?
Everyone needs a break. Make sure you’re taking a break as a family caregiver. If family members can’t step in to help out, call a senior care agency. You want to ask about respite care. While you go on a vacation or simply take time off, caregivers help your parents. Respite care is a senior care option that you cannot ignore.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED-ONE ARE CONSIDERING SENIOR CARE IN ROCKY MOUNT, NC, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT SENIORS HELPING SENIORS TODAY. CALL (919) 761-5346.
Kathy is a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP) who is active in several other senior related organizations, including Alzheimer’s State Champion program, Friends of the Northern Wake Senior Center board member, Ambassador for the Rolesville Chamber of Commerce, Aging Life Care Association (ALCA), Health Affairs Round Table (HART), and Senior Information Networking Group (SING).