If you are concerned about your parent’s mental health, you’re not alone. Most people worry about their parents’ health, it’s perfectly natural.
Some senior citizens, however, do what they can to hide their struggles. This could be because they are ashamed of how they’re feeling. Alternatively, they may not be used to talking about how they’re feeling.
Here’s what you can do to help your elderly parent:
Also Read: Financial Help For Single Moms
Ways To Take Care of Your Elderly Parent’s Mental Health
Talk to Your Parent
Talk to your parent about your concerns. Let them know that you’re worried about them.
Choose a time when both of you are feeling calm.
Your parent might:
- Refuse to talk about how they’re feeling
- Not wish to discuss different modes of therapy
- Feel as though they’re being criticized
- Not realize that something is wrong
You may even expect your parent to become angry with you. If they do, try not to take things personally.
Some people when they’re angry tend to insult others. Remember, this is a reflection on them rather than on you.
If you can, ask someone to join you when you speak to your parent. Make sure it’s someone your parent trusts.
Encourage Them To See a Doctor
Try to encourage your parent to see a doctor. Explain that you’re concerned about them.
Their doctor may find that there is an issue with your parent that needs addressing. Alternatively, they may not find anything wrong with them at all. You never know unless your parent speaks to a doctor.
Encourage Your Parent to Take Their Medication
If your parent is prescribed medication encourage them to take it. You can do this by:
- Reminding them when you’re around to take their medication
- Setting them an alarm on their phone or watch
- Calling or texting your parent
- Physically helping them to take their medication by placing it in their mouth if they’re unable.
Make sure that you’re aware of any potential side effects the medication may have. Do your research so you know how the medication may affect your parent.
Let Your Parent Have Some Control
No one wants to feel that they have no control over their lives. Your parents will be the same.
Encourage both of your parents to have a say about the care they receive. This can help them to feel better about the whole situation.
Understand What They’re Going Through
Try to understand what your parent or parents are going through. Perhaps they’re anxious or depressed. They may even have dementia or another life-altering condition.
Find out as much as you can about what your parent is going through. Do some research and speak to others who care for their parents. Get some tips from them if it helps.
You might even want to ask your doctor about how your parent’s condition. The more you understand, the better able you could be to give your parent the help they need.
Get Support For Yourself
One of the best things that you can do when you’re caring for someone else is to take care of yourself. You cannot look after another person if you’re not well.
Here’s what you can do:
- Get enough sleep
- Eat a balanced diet
- Exercise regularly
- Deal with your stress
You should also consider getting support from someone if you struggle to take care of your parents. Speak to a counselor or simply tell a friend how you’re feeling.
When you have the support you need, you can give your parents the support they need.
Ask For Help
Sometimes people need to be in receipt of care all day, every day. If this is the case as far as your parent is concerned you should ask for help.
You simply cannot be expected to do all the caring on your own.
Ask family members to help you. Let them take over 2 days a week.
Alternatively, you could bring carers in to provide the much-needed care.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. When you do, your parent could get the mental health and physical help that they deserve. A lot of people don’t want to ask for help from others. However, you cannot be expected to provide 24-hour care 7 days a week.
Use the above tips to help you to take care of your elderly parent’s mental health. Take one day at a time and make sure you ask for help if you need it.