How to Care for Senior Parents When You’re On the Outs

senior father and adult son arguing
How do you overcome childhood hurt when caring for a senior parent? Learn tips in this article.

When providing care for senior parents, it can be difficult not to let family dynamics get in the way. For people who have been brought up by loving parents who took care of all of their needs, offering the same standard of care may just be second nature. But what if you have been negatively affected by childhood experiences, determined to distance yourself from difficult family members later in life, and then end up returning to provide for them in a time of need?

AARP offers some helpful suggestions for family members who want to do something to conquer old wounds in the interests of providing care:

  • Establish emotional boundaries. It is feasible to give compassionate home care while staying emotionally detached. Visualize looking after the needs of someone you’d never met, and make an effort to maintain that mindset with a challenging member of the family, trying to keep personal feelings and hurts out of the equation while meeting his/her care needs with compassion.
  • Try to separate the past from today. While your family member may have demonstrated a pattern of causing you anguish in the past, perhaps with furious outbursts or belittling comments, it is crucial to separate that pain from current struggles. For instance, someone with Alzheimer’s might go through a stage of aggressive behavior that is a hallmark struggle associated with the disease, rather than a continuation of parenting mistakes.
  • Try to change your expectations. Some members of the family walk into a caregiving role with the purpose of changing the course of a relationship, believing that if perhaps they ignore past hurts and offer the very best possible care, the family member is likely to be changed into someone caring, kind and respectful after a lifetime of challenges. The fact is, storybook endings are few and far between. Keeping expected results realistic may help lessen potential future disappointments.

Most importantly, realize that nobody needs to feel “stuck” in caring for a challenging member of the family. The professional in home care team at JFS Care is fully trained, experienced, and equipped to give the highly skilled and compassionate care which allows family caregivers peace of mind. A number of the many ways we could help include:

  • Personal care assistance, such as with bathing, getting dressed and using the bathroom
  • Preparing meals
  • Keeping the home environment clean and organized
  • Running errands
  • Providing transportation to health appointments as well as other outings
  • Companionship
  • And more

Providing care for senior parents is a challenge even when the relationship is good. Give us a call at (213) 383-2273 for a free in-home assessment and to discover a senior care solution that will work for your family. If you’re interested in the best in home care in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas, click here to view our full home care service area.