Back with more great strategies for you to make the visits with your parents effective and joyful. They are simple to implement and when you do this mindfully the outcome will be much fulfilling. Ready for more happiness on your caregiving journey?
I am sure you remember strategy #1: enter the house with a smile… did it make a difference for you?
Strategy #2. Connect with your parent
Sit down for at least a few minutes before you start doing any tasks. Ask how their day was, and take the time to listen. The best way for a nice conversation? Ask ONE (yes, only one!) open question and let them chat away. Don’t interrupt… just listen.
Put your hand over his/her hand: gentle touch works magic and make sure you smile. If that is a challenge, think how much you love that person. Making a connection and being present makes you both feel good.
Suggestion: if the TV is on, turn it off for a while or have the volume down.
#3. Talk slowly when you talk to your parent
Our lives are often so busy and we tend to talk fast, way too fast for seniors.
No multitasking when you talk: do not put groceries away and chat while you have your back turned to them or are in another room. Again: making a connection is important as you learn to listen for or see “clues”.
#4. Let your mom or dad know what you’re doing
Acknowledge their space and independence as well as their values.
Tell them what tasks you will be doing during your visit, ask if they are okay with it.
Don’t rush through the house. Have a plan ready so you can stick to dedicated and focused time and energy. I get it… you have a gazillion things to do at home, at work, or want to stick to other commitments you made.
Rushing = stress = sleepless nights = risks of all sorts = your health is in danger!
Slowing down is a skill you need and for sure must develop; you will notice that it has a positive effect on your loved ones and on yourself.
Good luck and till next time!
Certified Caregiving Consultant & Educator