Being old and retired involves a transition in lifestyle. Hence, elderly people want love and care from their grown up kids. It is one of the most sensitive relationships, for an individual to experience and take care of full heartedly. During the course of such a journey, we often make mistakes that may hurt our elders. Below is the list of common gaffes, which we do often –
1. Impolite communication – When we communicate with the elders, we assume the generation gap would make it difficult for them to understand. Be polite and explain them.
2. Impatient – With time, the elders might get slow in analyzing and understanding things. Do not be irritated because they will take time to absorb information, as a memory of elderly would not be sharp.
3. Disrespect – Always remember, an older person is much wiser than you are. They have experienced life more closely than what you have. Stop insulting them. Respect the difference of opinions.
4. Let Sibling Take Care – Elders are family responsibility and not paying attention to them or treating them right would haunt you later. They are your responsibility too apart from your brothers and sisters.
5. Rush – It is not a race that you have to win. Try to explore the uncharted territory. Simply go with the flow.
6. Dominate – Rather than thrusting things on them. Give your old folks options to choose from; it will make them feel that they still have authority to their lives.
7. Sense of Belonging – Make them take part in the decision-making process of the family or of your own.
8. Keeping Busy – We all keep busy, however, we must spare some time out for elders. Sit with them and have a quality conversation with them. It will make them feel that they are still a part of the family.
9. No Social Life – Find out whether they are adjusting to the new lifestyle or not. Without a social life, they would go under depression and would feel isolated.
10. Depriving Elderly with Money – They would feel dependant on you without money. Hence, give them an amount so that they can spend on things or on hobbies, which make them happy.
11. Making them feel Alone – Ask them advice or share your achievements with them, it would touch their hearts and they might simply run down the memory lane. They will not feel alone, rather it would keep their spirits alive.
12. Usage of Slang words – They would not understand the slang language so it would be better that you use words, which they understand easily. It would help them communicate effectively.
13. Medical History – In the course of our own lives, we forget to ask them about their medical health problems. Hence, take out time on a weekly basis and look into their medical history to understand their physical condition better.
14. Making Them Feel as a Guest – Did you try finding out whether they are happy living with you or not? They should feel at home.
15. Smoking – Avoid smoking in the home as their health would be declining or physical condition would be weak. Smoking would affect them drastically.
16. Help – We try to avoid their responsibility at times due to our own life stress. However, if they need help and you are not in a position to do it, politely, tell them you would help them later, as you had a long day.
17. Eating Habits – Eating habits are different of elderly, try adjusting with it. Because if you would cook food that is fried or has lots of calories and less of vitamins and minerals; it would affect their health slowly.
18. Quality Time – By spending time does not mean that you take them to doctor for regular checkups or just sit with them for a minute or two. Take them out to the park, maybe a play if they like to or simply read them their favorite book.