Talking with old members of your family might be as hard as speaking with kids. So how do you communicate with the elderly to leave only a pleasant feeling after the conversation and not damage their wellbeing, health, and nervous system?
Bring as little negativity into your home as possible
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It's important to realize that now you've switched places with your parents and it's your turn to take responsibility for solving the issues of your elderly family member. Don't stick to your role of a child where mom and dad solve all your problems. Try not to bring a lot of bad news to your home and if you do need to share them, give it to them bit by bit and carefully.
Try not to get irritated
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It's not easy for your parents to give up the idea of you being their little girl or boy. They will always want to treat you like they did when you were a child. So, when you hear manipulations like "this sweater looks terrible on you, get changed immediately!" how should you react? The key point is you need to keep calm and react to their behavior as gently and understandingly as possible. Dig a little deeper, maybe there's a psychological issue behind this, which you could help solve by talking about it?
Don't turn down their help
For your parents, you will always stay little kids who need to be taken care of. So don't refuse their care! Accept it wholeheartedly. It will keep a light atmosphere in the family and will make your parents feel needed. Remember, they can't change their behavior, but you can change your attitude to it. Drop your irritation!
Don't try to change them
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As people grow old, it's becoming harder and harder for them to learn something new, so they will likely never leave their old habits. It's highly unlikely that you will manage to influence their worldview. If you try, it will only make them angry or upset. If their stubborn behavior isn't harmful to their health, it's not worth trying to change their habits and getting into fights.
Engage them in family discussions
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Apart from respecting the elderly, you should also engage them in discussions. They possess the wisdom of their age and also it's a great way of showing your kids how they are supposed to treat the elderly. Feeling like they belong to the group and realizing their importance will help older people feel much healthier.
Don't be mad at the elderly
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Whatever your old family members do, you should treat their behavior with kindness and understanding. People their age might act differently from how they would act if they were younger. Take responsibility for your emotions. Don't take to heart things that can hurt you. The elderly have a lot of fears and not a particularly nice lifestyle (taking medicine, insomnia, feeling helpless). Talk to them and show your support.
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Visit your relatives at least once a week as well as call them and ask how they're doing daily. Old people need support and communication. Such an approach will definitely not go unnoticed. Discuss different topics, preferably positive ones. Give them an opportunity to reminisce on the past even if you've heard this story many times before.
These simple rules will not only improve your relationship with your elderly relatives, but also their mood will get better and, as a result, their health will follow.
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The material in this article is for informational purposes only and does not replace the advice of a certified specialist.