How to Emotionally Support an Elderly Loved One!

by Sean Dixon

When an older person in your care isn’t acting like themselves, it may mean they’re experiencing depression or anxiety. If you find your loved one in emotional distress or if they are not themselves, here are just a few tips that can help you to support them:

Listen And Learn From Your Loved One

It is important to listen to your loved one. You can best support them by listening and learning from them. Ask them what they need, how you can help, and how you can make things easier for them.

Keep Calm

When you’re supporting an elderly loved one who’s experiencing anxiety, it can be hard to know how best to help them. The first thing to remember is that staying calm is crucial.

When your elderly loved one is anxious, they may see even a small amount of stress in you as an indication that something serious is wrong. This can make them more anxious, creating a vicious cycle that makes it harder for them to deal with their own fears and concerns.

It’s important to remember that there are no right or wrong ways to comfort someone—only methods work better than others. Staying calm will allow you to stay focused on keeping your loved one calm instead of worrying about how you’re doing it right.

Be Understanding

Being an understanding caregiver to your elderly loved one can be difficult. You want to help them and make things better, but they just don’t get it sometimes. Sometimes you feel like they’re just not trying hard enough—or that maybe it’s because they don’t care about anything anymore.

The thing is, there are so many reasons why your elderly loved one may not be able to understand what you’re saying. They may have trouble processing information or remembering things from when they were younger. They could have dementia or another form of mental illness that makes it hard for them to focus on what you’re saying and follow through with instructions.

But there’s another reason: Your loved one might not know how to communicate their feelings in a way that makes sense to them. That’s where understanding comes in—you need to make sure that you’re taking into account their needs and preferences when communicating with them, whether through writing or speaking with them face-to-face.

Encourage Your Loved One To Be Independent

It’s important to encourage your loved one to be independent as much as possible. While it may be tempting to do things for them that they can do for themselves, try not to overstep your boundaries and interfere too much in their daily life, especially if they live independently in a supported community like Pathway To Living. If you’re unsure about what is best for your loved one, ask questions before taking actions that impact them. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, either.

Your elderly loved one will appreciate the support of their family members throughout this process.

Be Patient

In any relationship, patience is a virtue. When you’re dealing with an elderly loved one who may be more set in their ways and less inclined to change, it’s even more important to practice patience. Patience can be learned as a skill, but it takes time and practice. It’s easier for us to become impatient when someone older than us does not act like we’d expect them to act or doesn’t take into consideration what we think they should know about certain situations. This can lead us to make assumptions about what the other person knows or understands—but those assumptions are usually incorrect because everyone has different experiences that shape how they interpret information. Giving them time and patience is important when you need to support them.

These are just a few tips to help you emotionally support your elderly loved one. If you notice signs that something more is happening, or if you have any concerns about the emotional health of an elderly loved one, it’s important that you seek help from a mental health professional.

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