Helping and Bringing Stability Only Where Needed
When you see your adult parent declining in physical and cognitive health sometimes it’s important to act sooner rather than later. However, it’s also important to know where exactly they need your help. We have seen adult children rush into help when help wasn’t needed – and those same children experienced considerable pushback. In those cases, the parents felt like the kids were moving in, taking over, and relegating them to the “rocking chair”. The kids thought they were helping and bringing stability – but they ‘helped’ too much!
3 clues when you should be helping and how to bring stability
What does Mom’s doctor say? Sometimes a doctor can modify medications to make a difference and can suggest an appropriate level of care at their current level of functioning.
If Mom or Dad is still well cognitively, have a discussion with them to see what they want. Do they feel they’re struggling now? Would they be willing to accept assistance with a particular task? Discuss with them what level of care that they would want should they decline even more. These talks reassure your Loved One(s) that your goal is helping them as you try to maintain stability in their lives.
This is nothing more than an exercise in keen observation. Using your five senses, what have you observed? Here is an example.
- Vision. You see that Mom’s gate has changed and she has trouble regaining balance.
- Hearing. You hear her talk about getting lost on the drive back from the grocery store.
- Feel. You feel her reaching out to you for stability when she’s going down the stairs or entering a building.
- Smell. You smell the lingering odor of burnt food and in looking for the source, discover a badly burnt pan with hard crusted food on the bottom of the oven.
- Taste. You taste a dish that used to be Mom’s “claim to fame” recipe but is now barely edible.
What have you observed?
What is Mom having difficulty doing now that she could do well only a few months or even a few weeks ago? The answer to this question will at least show you where to help. It’s very possible that Mom doesn’t need help with everything, she may only need help with one thing. By helping her with that one thing, your help may make a huge difference in her life and bring much needed stability. It will allow her to continue to be as independent as possible while only receiving assistance where needed. The fringe benefit from this is that by doing things for Mom that she could easily do for herself, you save a bunch of your time that you can spend on your task list OR spend more time just visiting with Mom.
The observation suggestions that we discuss in the context of the family assessment are obviously not connected to Medical observations or other professional assessments. They are just your observations. However, your observations pack a lot of weight! You have known your Mom for your whole life! You know her habits, mannerisms and daily routines. What you are looking for is unusual change.
We want to be friends!
Ok. That might come off a little fast, considering we barely know each other. However, we fully understand the stress and turmoil that you are facing as Family Caregiver.
In our time as caregivers, we have amassed a wealth of knowledge that we desire to pass on. Likewise, we have met many professional caregivers, as well as other family members who were thrust as Family Caregiver. All caregivers have shared the same advice – Join a community!
We have since created Caregiver Connection. Caregiver Connection is a newsletter that we write personally and send to fellow Caregivers. It is full of tips, tricks, and even professional advice. If you would like to sign up, click the button below.
Please Invite Someone to Our Newsletter
Being an Adult Kid who is helping mom as she is declining can be a scary, frustrating and lonely place lacking stability. You feel like you are solely responsible for solving Mom’s problems while managing yours. Some occasional input and a community to plug into would help! This is a way that all of us can be working together as caregivers!
Many others that you may personally know are having to figure it all out by themselves. Most of them have no community. Please take a minute and do them a favor. Copy this link – help.mom/cc – and send it to them in an email or private message. They can click on it and subscribe to our newsletter for free.
Then they can enjoy weekly tips and encouragement. They no longer have to feel so alone in their family caregiver journey. They will appreciate the favor! Thank you for thinking of them!
Thank You for being a Caregiver for Your Loved One – you are making a huge difference in their life!
If you are struggling to achieve balance in these areas, be one of the first ones to receive information on our newly recorded Stability Without Stress course. For more information, go to stabilitywithoutstress.com