Caring for an elderly parent

Caring for an elderly parent? See 16 ways to make them happy

The gift of love and patience is more transformative than we can think

I had the privilege of taking care of my elderly mother until she died at age 91. I took care of her daily until I moved to another city, and then returned four times a year to be her caretaker for long periods.

She would bathe, take care of her when she was sick, change her clothes and sheets, listen to her for hours on the same subject, comfort her when she cried, give him food, let her win in the card game to motivate her, prayed and talked about heaven with her … and I would not change those moments into anything.

Taking care and making a happy elderly person is demanding, but it is possible. All they need is a little of our time, patience and love.

How to make a happy elderly parent?

Here are 16 very concrete tips

1. Take him to visit friends and family. If you can not, arrange it with someone who can. Friendships are always necessary at any age.
2. Stop arguing with him. Let him feel you’re right. This gives them security.
3. Let them live among your memories. Often it is all that is left and is important to them.
4. Let them speak, even if they repeat the same story a hundred times. Listen and value your words, which are pure wisdom.
5. Make them feel that you need them, that they are useful to you and not a burden.
6. Let them do the tasks they can, and help them as needed.
7. Have fun with them with the games they like best, and let them win (reasonably).
8. Listen to music from their time. Let them tell a story that has to do with this or that song.
9. Let them get angry and have their tantrums as if they were children. But do not treat them like a child – treat them like an adult who deserves all your respect and understanding.
10.  Encourage them to take care of your personal hygiene. What is his favourite perfume or lotion? Give it as a gift.
11. Talk to them in a calm tone of voice. Say thank you and tell them that you love them. Tell them how much you value their life, time and knowledge.
12. Enter their world. Get into their stories, as if they were happening now.
13. Touch them, hug them, fill them with kisses … Show them your tenderness and your human warmth.
14. Take photos with them and let them tell the story behind them. Be amazed at what you hear.
15. Pray with them. Most older adults are very good at it!
16. Simply ask, “What can I do for you today to make you happy?”

Gift of life

Many of us have had the immense blessing of caring for an elderly parent. Yes, it can be very tiring and sometimes quite exhausting, but at the end of the day you go to bed with a smile on your face. Love, care for and protect them in their weaknesses. Remember that everything in them is a great gift of life!

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One Response

  1. Deanna Soriez May 19, 2018

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