Baby Boomer Tips For Adult Caregiving
by Susan Fox, CH, AA
When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on!
Are you looking for baby boomer tips for adult caregiving? Patiently support and maintain a happy relationship with your aging Mom or Dad using love and understanding.
A client of mine, an aging baby boomer, takes care of his widowed mother. Living with Mom since Dad died, my client knew Mom needed him to be there for her.
But he feels frustrated and it’s getting worse. What’s the problem? Mom has morphed into a hoarder. This often happens in Alzheimer’s disease and/or dementia from what I’ve researched. According to Alzheimer’s Association, it is a lack of feeling secure that primarily motivates a person with this disease or dementia to hoard. So, all the practical talking in the world will not reduce the hoarding but it may alienate the relationship.
He recently saw the Julianne Moore and Alec Baldwin movie entitled Still Alice. If you are a baby boomer, it could be an enlightening movie for you. I checked it out of the library and watched as Hollywood did a great job of showing what happens during Alzheimer’s.
So what’s the main issue for my client? The physical effects of the hoarding. She obsessively buys “junk” and then piles it in the house. Or, when going for groceries, she buys excess food and freezes or hoards it in the refrigerator. You have to keep moving things out of the refrigerator to find what you want. Its organized chaos in the house.
Please read and share the information in this article about dementia. The following article offers practical ideas on how to effectively cope with hoarding that often comes with dementia and Alzheimer’s:
If there is too little serotonin, a person feels discontent. We know that in the brain when balanced brain chemistry occurs, peace occurs. A poor diet negatively affects serotonin levels as does stress. Stress can come from you if you impatiently yell and scream at your parent.
Are you an aging baby boomer taking care of an aging parent? If so, I recommend that you look at your parent’s diet. Excess sugar really messes with a body’s wellness. If your Mom or Dad is hoarding with food and spending a lot of money at restaurants, consider diplomatically curtailing restaurant outings. That food may contain a lot of hidden sugar and other toxins that only aggravate the brain chemistry balance.
Aside from spending too much money on buying “junk” another disadvantage of hoarding is dangerously creating trip hazards. Aging bones do poorly when it comes to tripping. So, it’s a good idea to help your aging parent keep hallways and high traffic areas clear of them.
Have you ever heard of the Area Agency on Aging? Each US state has them, usually per county. If you live in Ohio, here’s a link to the Ohio Area Agencies on Aging:
I encourage you to contact them to find more information on how to take care of your aging loved one. They may also be able to share information with you that helps you reclaim some of your sanity.
Tip On Communicating More Clearly With Your Aging Parent
If you see what you’ve identified as hoarding behavior in your aging parent, assure your parent that you love him or her for who he or she is, rather than on how convenient he or she can make life for you.
Put yourself in his or her place. Would you want to have support from a unconditionally loving adult child to help allay fears? And remember that hoarding behavior may not be so much a matter of your parent refusing to cooperate as much as it is that he or she CAN’T cooperate due to imbalanced brain chemistry. Don’t hold that imbalanced brain chemistry against your parent. Instead, DO something different with the diet (with the doctor’s permission) to naturally improve brain chemistry balance.
Do you need some training and coaching on how to work with your aging parent? If so, please contact me by email at [email protected] with your questions or comments. Or, read some articles about the mind, body, spirit connection at my website www.brainviewtraininginstitute.com.