Building on what we said last time about being reduced to the equivalent of a quivering five-year-old by the stubbornness of your aging parents when they are determined to resist you… Let us today get real about what it will truly take to navigate the depths of the eldercare marathon.
There’s No Chapter Like Eldercare
First off, you need not buy whole-sale how grueling was my experience. Start by checking out the dozen or so stories from colleagues and friends via my first book in this realm, Coping with Un-cope-able Parents: LOVING ACTION for Eldercare. Representative “In Denial”, “Fake Dramas” and “Patience, Patience” are especially rife with frustration. I cite these tales of woe to validate your truth as the son or daughter of an impossible duo. You are not alone anymore!
Take It from Me
Indeed, if you are taking time from your ultra-hectic calendar to read a blog called The Wit’s End Caregiver, I suspect you relate. Namely, seeing my parents through their transitions in my mid-50’s was exponentially harder than surviving their drinking and mental illness issues during my teens and early 20’s. Did you just read right? Yes! It was so bad I often feared dying before they did in their late 80’s. Long-term disease statistics bear me out.
Do Apply These Behaviors
At least the worst years from 2010 to 2013 saw me break through on an A to Z list of what does work with even the most ingrained duo. Trust me on the trial and error experimentation it took to get there. Here is a sampling: Acknowledgement; Determination (not pushy); Hope; Ingenuity; Listening; Mastery (of self); Respect; Stamina; Understanding; Wisdom. You may want to check Coping with Un-cope-able Systems: ADVOCACY for Eldercare for further ideas.
Next Time Around
Indeed, all of you tracking my contributions over time know I view the successful care of aging parents as a combination of calming states-of-being (like the A to Z lists) and effective doing. Hence, the acronym, LOVING (attitudes) and (focused) ACTION.
With that, stand by for a sub-series within this “Top 10 Caregiver Peeves” that equips you to confront challenging subjects like when your folks refuse your every effort to ‘pry’ into their business. Ever had that one?