When adult children find themselves giving care to their elderly parents, there is a great deal of patience needed. This role reversal of sorts does not always work out as easily as it may sound. Patience and tolerance go hand in hand in this exhausting yet rewarding task that seems like a roller coaster ride at times.
Giving care to your aging veteran may also involve factors such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which can make the loved one very irritable and hard to get along with at times.
You will also need to remember to take care of yourself. In the beginning you might feel like superman or superwoman; that you can do it all and do it perfectly. Well it doesn’t usually happen that way. Your aging veteran is human and so are you. You both have feelings, needs and desires. They probably won’t all be met all the time. Your loved one may even have difficulties expressing them most of the time, so it keeps you guessing as to what he needs or what’s wrong.
Your patience will surely be tested sometimes. Sometimes it might be due to the heavy workload you are carrying or to his diminishing capacities or to someone’s feelings getting hurt. Remember that your aging veteran still has dignity and feelings. It’s very difficult to become dependent when you once were so vital and independent. Think of how he must feel and put yourself in his position. It will help you to see things from another perspective and greatly reduce your stress and anxiety.
If you do get impatient, frustrated and irritated in caring for your aging veteran take a few moments to think about what he is going through. He may be experiencing any or all of the following:
- Lack of self-identity
- Low self-esteem
- Financial hardships
- Diminishing health
- Aches and pains
- Low levels of motivation
Now is the time to try and make some happy memories you can hang onto once your beloved veteran is gone. Take time to make and savor the good times. Make each minute and each day count for something. You don’t want any regrets – so now is the time to bring some happiness into the situation even when things seem difficult and hopeless. The time will soon be gone; if you are struggling to care for your aging veteran and still enjoy his company because there are too many issues standing in the way, consider hiring some home care for him and then spend your time bonding together.