Quad Cities, IL/IA

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Communication With Your Aging Loved Ones


Submitted by LivWell Seniors, LLC

One of the most difficult things with aging loved ones is watching their ability to be independent decline. The physical abilities slowly deteriorate — such as walking any distance, getting in and out of a car, going up and down even a few steps without losing their balance, and the slower pace that they must take with or without an assistive device. In addition, cognitive function may decline as well, such as their ability to remember things, word finding when trying to tell you something, and you may have to repeat to them on several occasions the same thing that you told them minutes or hours ago. This alone can become very frustrating, and one of the most important things to remember is to not lose your patience with them. This process is not easy for them, and more than likely, they know they are doing it, feeling self-conscious and embarrassed when it is pointed out. It just may be that no one wants to talk about the “elephant in the room.” Their life and your life have changed as a result, whether it be over time, or in some cases, overnight.

You may be surprised how willing they are to have an honest heart-to-heart talk with you about these things. It can really open up the lines of communication and allow you both to find ways to adapt so that your loved one can still enjoy life. Together, you can find ways to keep them as independent as possible, yet remain safe. Otherwise, you may find your loved one isolating more and more, as it takes such incredible effort to do the simplest things socially with friends or family, and they may feel burdensome if you are slowed down by them. The more they isolate, the less aware you are of how they are really doing, and this can lead to worsening physical and mental conditions. At the end of the day, they still have the need to feel dignified and that they are contributing to your life and their own. Just take the time to talk to them about it and seek out the resources that are available to provide any help with this process. You and your loved one will feel glad that you did.

LivWell Seniors serves as a local agency providing community based resources that are 100-percent free to seniors and their families. They are funded by the senior care providers that utilize their service and network of connections. For further information, contact us at
563-265-1577 or visit our website at www.livwellseniors.com.