How To Deal With Parents Fighting! I still remember very clearly as my world turned upside down when I learned about my father’s illness. The anxiety and stress of a chronic health condition or serious illness in a parent can often disrupt the entire family’s routine.
It is very chaotic to deal with matters of life and death. Most of us don’t even know what to say, what to do, or how to comfort a loved one in such a situation. Dealing with serious health issues or chronic illnesses is about learning to live in balance and coping with depression and anxiety that often accompany long-term health problems. The key here is to focus on staying positive because a composed mind can only lead you to feel better and fight harder.
Following are a few useful ways to fight and deal when serious illnesses or critical health conditions catch you by surprise.
Accept the reality
Accepting that your parent is dealing with something so life threatening that anything can happen any time is never easy. Sometimes we try hard to pretend that things are still the same as they used to be, and probably it’s a nightmare that will fade away once we open our eyes. This isn’t the right approach to dealing with anything. In fact, such thoughts only postpone how you could possibly help improve the situation.
For parents dealing with a chronic health condition like dementia, cancer or any other, revising their expectations from family life is the first obstacle they encounter. Of course, as a parent, it does not affect their loving and caring nature towards their children and other family members, but slight adjustments will have to be made.
This one thought that your family life may never be the same again is enough to turn you gloomy. But you have to stay conscious of your health, take some time to rest and exercise, and have fun at the same time. Remember, it is important to focus on feeling well and to maintain a positive outlook.
Deal with them gently when they’re angry
As people grow old, they tend to get angry very quickly. Giving up on authority that they once had in a relationship is never easy for them. You have to respect and listen to their grievances because they will definitely lash out about that loss of authority at some point. Remember, patience is the ultimate key here.
Ask for their advice
To seek their advice about something going on in your life and other general matters is a great way to show your parent the love and respect they deserve. Let them know that they are still hold great value to you, and that their wisdom is what you will always count on.
Give them the freedom to make small decisions
This point needs a lot of attention because by taking away their independence, you can worsen the situation that can build further frustration and anger in them. Whenever you think they must do something like taking medication on time, or dressing and changing then request them for it, instead of giving commands.
Remember, they might not understand the role reversal and you may come across as giving orders. It’s important for them to continue to feel as if they are in charge of their own lives, and are not led by someone else. Let them decide everything they can about their own care and situation and just gently guide them along the way if you feel things are not going as they should.
Consider getting professional help
Sometimes it can be very difficult to look after your sick parents especially if your parent’s needs are extensive and challenging. You can seek professional help and consider hiring a geriatric-care manager who can help you in putting together a care plan for your parent. A professional guide can be very helpful in explaining expert standards and procedures.
When dealing with serious illnesses in a parent, it is important to hold the intention of staying current with what is happening in the moment. The human race is lucky because we have been created with all kinds of defense mechanisms for dealing with bad news; shock, denial, isolation and anger to name a few. Questioning yourself is good as long as it helps you stay in a positive frame of mind.
For example, ask yourself “What is the most loving moment that you spent with your parents and that you think you will cherish for the rest of your life?” Or “How do you really feel about the change your parent’s illness has brought to you?” “What are your options?” Sit with your parents for a small heart-to-heart chat. It’s important to communicate and speak about your fears. If their illness is at a complicated stage and you feel there’s a need for hospitalization, then keep a daily record of what is being done for the patient medically, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Take care of yourself too
Now that you have accepted the harsh reality, it is time to set things straight. There is nothing comforting than taking care of your sick parents. But you serve well neither yourself nor your parents, if you fail to look after yourself and your own basic physical and emotional needs. Let yourself relax for some time. You should not feel guilty in spending some time away from them. It will only help you come back stronger and better.
Parents fighting with serious illness or chronic health conditions often experience an array of emotions. A serious illness may seem like an end of the world. Immediately after diagnosis, people enter a mourning period. All of this is nothing but natural. You must realize that certain things are beyond human control and understanding.
By stressing yourself and thinking all day long about your parents’ fatal illness will lead you nowhere. However, dealing with the situation with a positive frame of mind will not only help you ease the pain and agony but can also positively impact your family, loved ones and parents.