Senior Blues: Three Things You Should Never Say to Your Aging Parents

old womanOne of the most emotionally and physically demanding things to experience is taking care of your elderly parents. Whether you like to admit it or not, there are times when they make you a little nuts. It’s a normal part of life, though, as you probably drove mom and dad crazy, too, when you were a kid.

During their senior years, your parents will likely have more needs, both physical and emotional. If this becomes a little too much to handle, take a step back and remind yourself that if this is hard for you, it’s hard for them, too.

Here are some things you might want to rethink before saying. These will be very helpful in calming you down and avoiding hurting your parents the next time you feel you’re nearing an emotional outburst.

  1. “You might want to move out”
  2. Senior living is never easy. Your aging parents will likely need a lot of help. If you feel they won’t do well in a senior living facility, don’t force them out. It might be best to get them cosy granny flats to serve as their home. That way, you can still check up on them regularly while still giving them their own space and independence.

  3. “How can you forget that?!”
  4. Seniors often struggle with remembering things, such as where they put their glasses or if they remembered to take their medicines. It’s a struggle for them, so you don’t want to make things worse by saying something inappropriate or hurtful. Help them instead by providing subtle reminders, such as a few sticky notes or a regular phone call.

  5. “You could do that if you put more effort into it”
  6. Simple tasks, such as maintaining the room, washing the dishes, or even going up and down the stairs can be next-to-impossible for seniors with arthritis or back problems. And calling them out on it won’t help. Seniors want to maintain their independence, but if things get too difficult, it’s okay to lend a helping hand. If you feel they have a hard time living on their own, ask them to live with you or get them a roomy granny flat or secondary suite they can call their own. That way, you can still supervise their activities and be there when they need help without smothering them.

One of the most important things in caring for your aging parents is being there for them. As exasperating as they can be, saying the wrong things will only make them — and you — feel bad.