A few of the items I shared with my brothers that have worked for me include:
- Walk in with your game plan ready. I plan my visits to coincide with events at their retirement home so I don’t have to tell them I won’t give them a ride to their town house. When I can’t do that, I have Plan B ready which may mean telling them I’m not able to go in that direction due to another committment.
- Provide short explanations that can only be interpreted positively. I will share event details in a short concise manner without accusing, denying or assigning fault.
- Take notes and put details on their calendar(s). When we make plans or my mom requests something, we record it and put it on the bulletin board. I make sure it’s on the calendar in the kitchen as well as the one in my mom’s purse (if she can find it).
Simple right? For me those things have taken practice since it just wasn’t the relationship I used to have with my parents. It will take time.
We have some major decisions to make in regard to my parents care and safety. They don’t recognize their inability to manage and given their cognitive states, know we need to step in and help them. I’ve been immersed in my parents range of behaviors and it’s interesting to hear new perspectives on my parents well-beling when my sibling visit. They see things with fresh eyes, but more than anything, it’s nice to not feel so alone in pursuing the next steps for my parents. Validated.