Ask Away Blog: The Things You Shouldn't Say To Your Aging Parents

The Things You Shouldn't Say To Your Aging Parents

Friday, November 8, 2019


It can be difficult to know what the right thing to do is, or what the best ways are to help, when you have an aging parent. They can be stuck in some ways which can make change difficult, and if they are getting sickness or health problems as a result of aging, it can be hard to help in the right way, especially if they are looking to try and be as independent as possible. Plus, if you are busy with your own family, then it can be hard to make enough time for all that they need. It can be tough and you might get frustrated, and you might find that you say things that you don’t mean. So here are some of the things that you need to avoid saying to your parent when they are aging.




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Why can’t you remember that?
You might have had a conversation with them the week before, or they might have done something that you know that they did. But older people can lose some of their short-term memory. They might remember things from when they were a child or when you were. But something that happened last week might not be something that they remember. It could also be down to hearing loss and simply that they haven’t heard what you said, for example. Instead of just criticising, think about how you can help them. Could you talk about putting post-it's around the home with reminders of things? How about writing things down in a notebook that they can refer to? Then it can help them to keep on top of everyday things like paying bills and so on.

You could do that if you really tried
Muscle strength and dexterity can become much weaker as people age. Their hands may start to shake and some simple tasks can be really hard and a big struggle. From tying shoes to changing a light bulb, there are things that they will find really tough. The best thing to do is to let you see what they need help with and what they can manage themselves. It could be important to remind them to ask someone in particular for help, or a tool that can help, such as something as simple as a shoe horn. They will want to be independent but it is a good idea to do what you can to help rather than just think that they aren’t trying.

Why is that relevant to what we are talking about?
Conversations with an elderly parent can sometimes go on a bit of a tangent, as their minds wander, or they even forget what they have been talking about. It could be that you were talking about recipes and food and then the next thing they talk about is cutting the grass on the lawn. It can be frustrating, but you can steer the conversation back if needed. You could always carry on with what they are talking about, if your previous conversation wasn’t anything of importance. You could always sit and listen, a really important skill to master.






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