7 Ways To Care For Your Mom

"Thirty million baby boomers are caring for their aging parents, often [it is] their widowed or single moms, often from far away," says Dan Tobin, MD. "This can be extraordinarily stressful for all involved."

It is sometimes difficult for children of aging parents to see their parents as they are now. It is difficult to come to terms with their aging and in turn, they choose to ignore or avoid the elephant in the room... that mom is getting old, and mom is changing.

Here are some ideas on how you can take proactive steps to improve the quality of your relationship with your mom.

  1. Schedule quality time. It is important to develop a routine and to stick to it! Spend routine quality time with your mom no matter how far away you live. Regular phone calls and regular visits help you be involved in your mom's life. "Being there" helps you monitor how she is doing with her daily living. Try to find activities that you both enjoy... but more importantly, that she enjoys doing - and do them together.
  2. Help your mother stay connected. Encourage your mom to stay connected to her community through volunteering, social and community activities, and through technology. Teach her how to stay connected with family and friends via email, through web-cam video chats, and many other senior friendly digital technologies. As people age, their world tends to get smaller, and that can lead to depression. Staying connected is so important.
  3. Focus on your mom's basic home safety and fall prevention. This is key for any senior who desires to stay safe in their own home. Click here for more info on home safety. Bonus Tip: Encourage physical mobility and exercise. This helps with bone strength, balance, and makes aging easier and safer.
  4. Rally the troops. Bring extended family together regularly for mom. Celebrate often! Remember to include her in your little everyday celebrations. It is a good idea to have siblings share the responsibility. I've heard of some siblings each taking a day of the week to call or check in on mom to ensure that regular contact is made but the burden is shared.
  5. Help mom talk about worries, concerns, fears. Depending on everyone's comfort level, it can be so helpful to ask your mom about issues - big and small. This can bring you deepen your relationship as you open up to each other. She may try to protect you by not sharing, but you may be surprised when she feels relieved that she can express her fears about the future. They are probably common fears like loss of independence, illness, frailty, etc. Getting them out and on the table might be incredibly therapeutic for everyone involved.
  6. Find high-quality affordable in-home assistance. It is not uncommon for older adults to do without, rather than asking for help. Possibly this is because they are concerned about money, but probably it is because they fear needing help - thinking it means that they will need to move. Or maybe they don't know how to go about finding help. Any help you can offer to help your mom feel comfortable with help will improve her chances of aging safely and happily in place - the desire of most.
  7. Laugh with her. Laughter is the best medicine. It releases tension and can brighten the moment. Gauge it to your mom's personality, but add as much humor to as many situations as possible. Go see a funny movie, read the funny section in the paper, laugh about a funny family memory.

It is very difficult to be part of the "sandwich generation" where you may be taking care of your parents as well as teens. If your loved one is your father, or uncle, or whomever... sub out the words mom for your relationship and adjust the pronouns as needed.

The best thing you can do for your loved one is being there, and helping them find help before they even ask. At American In-Home Care, we always refer qualified, screened, care providers that can assist you with your in-home care needs. Contact a Client Care Liaison at any time to set up a free assessment of your in-home care needs; they can provide you with options for and additional information about home care Orlando families trust. With 14 offices across the state of Florida, we offer services in Orlando and surrounding areas and are available to take calls 24/7 at 1-844-505-0004.

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