Now that we have learned what a frankly poor strategy it is to attempt to ram your solutions down aging parents’ throats, you likely wonder next… Then how on earth do I get anything done on their behalves? Let’s answer that question by way of this third installment in “Carol-Ann’s Top 10 Caregiver Lessons”.
There’s a reason I entitled my second book in this realm, Coping with Un-cope-able Systems: ADVOCACY for Eldercare. The first half refers to healthcare, legal, insurance, financial, automobile, real estate and other consumer agencies who claim to serve aging populations but are nowhere to be found when you most require their support.
“I just need all those so-called service providers out there to GET it!”
I hear you loudly and clearly. IF ONLY!! Right? They may or may not. Still, that doesn’t mean your hands are tied into powerlessness. As always, please learn from my lessons. Here are three ways-of-being that will rarely to never achieve what you seek: aggression; passive-aggression; non-assertiveness. Neither shouting nor putting up and shutting up will work in the long run. Neither will digging your heels into a stubbornly resistant ‘fight’ mode.
“I don’t have time to learn more ‘effective’ approaches!”
You are well understood. May I, though, gently suggest you don’t have time to waste on ineffective ploys? Assertiveness does need to become your chosen strategy. You state your feelings while respecting others. It’s all about the how. Truly, this has been the only way I was able to accomplish joint-account banking, disconnection of my father’s 1990’s TV/cable service and governmental insistence upon long-term care a week before my Dad died in hospital.
“OK, I’m curious to learn more about what you call ADVOCACY.”
Overall, the acronym stands for: Attentiveness; Decency; Vulnerability; Openness; Clarity; Aplomb; Compassion; and Yell. Here, we focus on the openness to listen empathetically, maintain others’ self-esteem, encourage cooperation and build trust. Along with said communication skills, how about we add in a healthy dose of compassion toward what especially stretched healthcare providers go through daily? It can’t hurt.
To learn more about how I used ADVOCACY skills to prevail with all manner of Un-cope-able-Systems, I urge you to add my two eldercare books to your toolkit at https://www.copingwithuncopeableparents.com/shop/. While there, you may want to check out my 6-month coaching package called “End Your Eldercare Nightmares”.
Stay tuned for how to keep hanging in there no matter how bad your caregiving situation feels.