Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Managing Holstility from Mom following a Transition

As individuals age, they will face a variety of transitions that may prove extremely difficult to endure. From moving in with family members to hiring a senior care provider to adapting to new medical needs, these transitions will most likely place a great deal of stress on your elderly loved one. It is important, then, that you are able to understand the reaction of your senior and manage any hostility that they may demonstrate.

Lucy has cared for her elderly mother, Martha, for several years. She recently made the decision to hire a senior care provider who is able to supply the constant care that Lucy cannot, due to her professional and familial obligations. Martha was not happy with this decision and felt as though Lucy was abandoning her. For this reason, Martha was hostile toward Lucy for several weeks after the senior care provider began work. Lucy and the home care professional talked about the issue and came up with the following ways to manage this hostility. They are sharing these tips to help others navigate this sensitive situation successfully.

  1. Discuss any major transitions with your elderly loved one ahead of time. Give them ample time to prepare for such changes and ask any questions they may have.
  2. If your loved one will be moving to a new place, take them to see their future home before their move in date if possible. Also ideal is allowing them to contribute to the decision making process; it may make the transition easier if they feel as though they have made the choice themselves.
  3. Communicate regularly with your elderly loved one. Talk about the transition, explain why it is necessary, and remind your senior that it is in their best interest. In Martha's case, she felt abandoned even though Lucy was doing what was best for her mother. Talking about this will help seniors and their loved ones manage hostility that may arise on both sides.
Making major transitions is not easy for anyone, but it can be particularly difficult for seniors who resist change or feel as though their families are giving up on them. Clear communication and patience are crucial when managing hostility.

1 comment:

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