Family relationships can quickly become strained when family members are caring for their senior loved ones. Seniors sometimes have health conditions that can cause them to exhibit negative behaviors. You might also begin to feel your relationship break down if you become overly stressed. Fortunately, you can turn caring for your loved one into a way to bond by using these strategies to keep conflicts and negativity down.
Cultivate Good Communication Skills
Many conflicts arise from poor communication. Try to remain patient when your loved one is talking, and use strategies to help him or her understand you if he or she has hearing loss or cognitive challenges. You may also want to be careful with how you phrase difficult information. Using positive language can keep your conversations free of conflict. If you start to find you or your loved one getting angry, take a break from the conversation. You can come back to the topic later when you’re both calmer.
Respect Your Loved One’s Preferences
Your loved one likely has opinions about how he or she wants you to help with his or her care. Your parent may also have definite preferences for how to run the household. Although some things may need to change, it’s best to try to follow your loved one’s preferences as much as possible. For example, he or she might want things to be put away in certain places in the home. Your parent might also prefer to have someone else handle certain aspects of his or her care, such as assisting with personal hygiene. Talk to your parent about what he or she prefers so you can work as many of those preferences into the care plan as possible.
Home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
Know Your Limits
Relationships also get strained as a result of caregiver burnout. Don’t try to do everything by yourself, and keep an eye out for signs you’re feeling overburdened. Getting frustrated easily, feeling fatigued, and noticing you’re resentful of your role are all signs you need to take a break. You can often head off frustration before it happens by planning for respite at regular times. Knowing you have a caregiver coming to help out on specific days can help you get through the challenging moments you have with your loved one.
Family caregivers sometimes need a break from their caregiving responsibilities. When they need respite care, Edmonton families can rely on professional caregivers to help their senior loved ones remain safe at home.
Learn about Your Loved One’s Health Condition
Many seniors have dementia, which can alter their behavior. Learning how to separate who your loved one really is from the symptoms of his or her disease can help you stay patient. Support groups for caregivers are a wonderful way to connect with other people who understand what you’re going through. You can also talk to your loved one’s other caregivers to help yourself see that your loved one’s negative behaviors have nothing to do with your relationship.
Accept Help when It’s Offered
Learning how to accept other people’s offers to help may alleviate many of the difficult emotions that can interfere with your relationship. For instance, you could let someone else cook a meal or do the kitchen cleanup so you don’t feel exhausted at the end of the day. Letting other people help also gives you more time to spend doing enjoyable activities with your loved one that help you bond.
Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Edmonton at-home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate professional home care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (780) 490-7337.