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Notes on dealing wih us old folks:
1. When you speak and we say ,"Huh?" don't laugh at us...it's hard enough on us knowing our bodies can no longer work like they used to. And don't say,"Nevermind!"....this let's us know what a burden we are or makes us feel unwanted or like we don't matter and causes us to retreat. We can understand you if you LOOK AT US WHEN YOU SPEAK AND DON'T MUMBLE.
2. When we ask you to do something our way, don't get all huffy....we have done it this way for years and know which way works BEST FOR US! Remember we'd rather be doing it ourselves!
3. When we become a little bitchy...keep in mind that it's not you we're mad at. We're mad at our bodies and mind for failing us.
4. When we tell the same stories over and over again...we are not trying to bore you. We are reliving a happy time or at least memorable time in our life. Remembering when our bodies and minds worked like a charm.
5. When we have to take a walker, wheelchair, cane, etc. with us , don't make a big deal out of it(we know it's a pain in the ass). And it's embarrassing enough knowing we have to use it. And if we feel like it's too much we will retreat.


And lastly but most importantly REMEMBER THIS: Old people don't want to be alone...they choose to because those around us at some time made us feel embarrassed, like a burden or unwanted...so it's easier to stay at home by ourselves...LONELY!

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Please remember that if someone is trying to help you, getting nasty with them is not the way to go.
1. I am not mumbling and I will try and remember to look at you when I speak. However, if I have gotten to the point where I say 'nevermind' it is because I have repeated myself close to 10 times and I cannot do it again. I am losing my voice because I have to keep raising my voice or repeating myself. And PLEASE..if you have a hearing aid please wear it.

2. I realize you like doing it your way and I sure would prefer you were able to do whatever it is yourself. With that said, I am now doing something for you and would prefer to do it my way which is easier for me. You may have a preferred way of doing something but if it makes my job harder to help you please let me do it my way.

3. There is no excuse for being nasty to others. Ever if you don't feel well. Please don't take your frustrations out on others.

4. Yes I have heard the same old stories a million times. I actually like the stories but I would love it if you could occasional tell a new one.

5. No one should be giving you a hard time taking a walker or cane or wheelchair.
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These are really good, helpful, insightful, thoughtful and compassionate suggestions. I've copied and saved them to remind me to consider them if/when I get frustrated.

But they're also useful for me in going forward, not only with my parent, but for myself when I get to the age (although some people think I'm already there!) when others feel I need help.
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cmekarin, good suggestions. But we must remember that the younger generation tends to think they can keep going at the same energy level as today. I know I was surprised when general age decline popped up one day out of the blue.... like squatting down to pick something up and yikes now you can't stand back up :P

If a family has a sense of humor it can help a lot. My 90+ Dad was always joking about his ailments. And when I bought him a rolling walker, my gosh, you'd thought I had bought him a Shelby Mustang, he was like a kid again, walking everywhere. He didn't care if anyone saw him with his walker, he was on a roll :) He and I would joke about his "dorm room" at Assisted Living once he moved there.

But on the other hand, my Mom, also 90+, was in total denial of her age. Heaven forbid the doctor who tell her an ailment was age related. Mom didn't want to use her cane outside, a neighbor might see her and think she was old. And Mom wanted Dad to keep driving even though Dad knew he wasn't as quick as he was years ago.
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Thank you for sharing this. Sometimes we need to be reminded that care-taking should include a whole lot of caring.
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