According to many statistics that are floating around out there, seniors are living far longer lives today because of all of the advancements in the medical field today. The life expectancy of all of us is a lot longer and this can affect not only the senior but their family, especially their children who may end up having to take care of their parents in their later years.
It's important then that children of the elderly learn to understand the needs both physical and emotional of their parents, to help them understand the changes in behavior they might experience as well.
The first thing that the child of an aging parent needs to do is try and get rid of any or all the guilt we might be feeling about our parents. Sure, our parents are definitely getting a lot older, although we wish they could stay young forever, it's simply not going to happen, it's a simple fact of life, we all grow old.
We need to understand that it is not our fault they are beginning to show the signs of aging or that they have lost someone close to them, we need to understand that no matter how hard we try we will not be able to stop the changes they will be going through. We just need to be prepared to take care of them and to help them get through all the changes with grace.
If you learn to communicate you will discover that this will be the most important took that you will have to face your parent or parents with their new difficulties. Encouraging them to express themselves is vital in their care. We need to try and understand them and one of the ways that we can do that is to take time out and try and understand how things were when they grew up. When your parents were growing up, they were probably taught that they should never express their feelings or discuss important issues with their children.
They may be from the time that children were better off if they were seen and not heard. So, if your parents seem to have a hard time letting you know what's bothering them, it's because, remember, they still see you as their children. You need to have patience and take time to observe things and pick up things from the way they behave.
Make sure that you give them attention. Sure this can be a hard think to do, you may not really feel like sitting down and encouraging your Mom to vent and then have to sit and listen to it, but it's important, especially if she lives a lone. She needs someone to talk to.
Make sure to show her signs that you are listening to her by making sure you nod your head to acknowledge what she said or repeat something that she says so she knows you are listening. Whatever you do, don't be judgmental, just like you, your parent or parents have rights to have their own opinions, even if you don't agree with what they are saying.
Spend some quality time with them. Take them out to lunch or sit and watch a movie together. Make sure there is plenty of touching like the touch of a hand, a hug, a kiss on the cheek. Even try and get their opinion on something, make them feel needed. Make sure that when you walk away that they still feel like they still have some importance in this life.