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How to Communicate and Care for Elderly Parents

How to Communicate and Care for Elderly Parents

Part of learning how to deal with an elderly parent requires an adult caregiver to develop effective communication skills. Parents living with mobility limitations and coping with the impact of advanced age need to be treated with tremendous amounts of respect, patience and understanding.

adult child with an aging parentWhen caregivers make the extra effort to understand why an elderly parent communicates in a certain way, or why they may be stubborn about particular issues and seem to dwell on the past, the nature of their relationship with their parent can vastly improve.

Here are a few suggestions from various experts in senior and geriatric care, on how to deal with elderly parents.1

  1. Listen Actively — Caregivers need to listen carefully for the truth behind what their elderly parent is communicating. To better understand what's going on, a caregiver might try to reflect on what it must be like to live with failing health, to lose friends to illness and to depend on one's children for personal care.
  2. Take Time — Part of getting older involves looking back and reassessing life. Being a good caregiver may mean taking the time to let an elderly parent do and say all the things they feel they need and want to. Just listen, and try not to rush an older parent.
  3. Encourage IndependenceWhether elderly parents move in with their adult children, live in a senior community, or have professional care within their own home, they may need encouragement to remain independent and in control of their daily lives.
  4. Caregivers might assist their parents by gathering information on mobility assistive equipment. A power wheelchair, mobility scooter, or other similar device, might give an elderly parent the added boost needed to feel capable, active and less of a burden on others.

    Contact Hoveround at 1-800-542-7236. One of our Mobility Specialists will gladly assist with finding the best mobility solutions for your elderly parent in need of improved mobility.

    1Morris, Virginia. “How to Care for Aging Parents “ (Workman Publishing Company, 2004); Rhodes, Linda. “The Essential Guide to Caring for Aging Parents” ( ALPHA, 2012); Solie, David. MS, PA, “How to Say It to Seniors: Closing the Communication Gap with Our Elders” (Prentice Hall Press, 2004)

July 3, 2013