A lot of us Baby Boomers have either helped take care of our elderly parents, or are presently doing so. The process of taking care of an older person who is ill can be difficult, and the circumstances never become easier. We must remember though to always slow down, and to maintain our patience with our older loved ones while in our care roles.
I remember when I was a teenager with my driver learner’s permit, at age 15 ½, I was driving with my father in his car. I stopped at a stop sign, and I expressed exasperation about an older man who was slowly crossing the street with his cane, and holding up a long line of cars. My father scolded me, pointed toward the old man and said, “Michael, that man is you, very soon!” At the time it was difficult for me to relate to my father’s comment, but I will never forget it.
As Baby Boomers, we are extremely busy with our lives. We are usually operating at warp speed and are always multi tasking. Our demeanor and our speech often reflect our impatience with the lack of swiftness at which the world around us is responding to our expectations. In order to be good care givers when dealing with our older loved ones, we must substantially slow down.
Communications can be difficult, but do not need to be so. When we are speaking with our older loved ones, we must be in the moment with them. As difficult as this may sound, the cell phone should be turned off and put away. We need to listen carefully and respectfully to what our older loved ones are saying and what they are asking. If they become angry, do not react with anger. Try to envision yourself at their age and in their circumstances. As my father would say, “That person is you.”
At the Law Offices of Michael J. Young, www.WalnutCreekElderLaw, 925-256-0298, email@example.com we practice Elder Law. We help families through the Elder Law minefield, and have been helping family members to better communicate with each other. We help families with long-term care planning, asset-protection plans, comprehensive estate planning, wills, trusts and powers of attorney. We also help families get their ducks in a row in order help them qualify for Medi-Cal and the VA Aid & Attendance Improved Pension benefit.
This information is not to be taken as legal advice, and you are encouraged to see your elder law attorney regarding any planning.