Change is something that is a part of life, but the older your family member gets, the more difficult it can be for her to manage those changes easily. Coping with them can be incredibly difficult, but you can help her to see the situation differently.
Consider Helping Her Start a Gratitude List.
Keeping a gratitude list might be one of those answers that leave both you and your senior feeling as if it’s not really a solution, but give it a try. When you’re focusing on the aspects of life that you’re grateful for, you’re appreciating them even more. Gratitude can open your senior’s heart to the good that these changes can bring.
Determine What She Can Change and What She Can’t Change.
Some of the changes that your senior is experiencing may be things that she can control. For instance, she may not like that she’s not able to drive as well as she used to, but she may be able to control that she’s still able to drive when the weather is good and there’s very little traffic. She may not, however, be able to control the fact that eventually she may not be able to drive at all.
Look for the Good and the Positive.
When your senior is keeping gratitude in mind and is focusing on what she can actually control, she may find it much easier to see the silver lining in the situation. Lots of people mistake this for ignoring the reality of the situation, but that’s not what this is. This is about seeing what there is in this current reality that is worth celebrating.
Outline Some Small Steps.
By now, your senior should be able to see some small steps that she can take. In the case of the driving example, having a plan for when she can’t drive is important. Your senior may know that she can call you or other family members or she might have a number to call senior care providers for transportation. Knowing what steps she can follow can help to empower your elderly family member, even in the face of change.
Talk to your senior family member about what types of changes she’s experiencing. Understanding the changes and how she feels about them can help you to land on a solution that might work well for her. keep your senior involved in the plans that you’re making for her so that she doesn’t feel shut out of the process.