Dear Francy: My Dad has been so worried over the money problems in the news and the election is driving him crazy. He is out of sorts and hard to life with – would you offer a few suggestions?
When TV’s are on all day in a senior’s room…news filters in and out and through their minds. As you come and go and your day is filled with the to-do list of a care-giver and other life issues, you may not notice the immediate daily news intake.
I always tried to “head off” any big worry day in news. I would come in the room with a smile and just lightly review what was happening. That way my mother got my take on things. Something like, “Yes, there is a banking problem but nothing like what you went through during the crash…what was that story about your boss getting your savings out of the bank before it went under?”
We always talked about politics…I let mom have her own ideas on the different taxes, propositions and candidates. I also had a mail-in ballot for her at each election and I would go over it and help her make the decisions. I wanted her to stay connected, as long as she could. And bless her heart, she did stay involved and her mind was crisp and clear to the end.
No mater what your senior is facing; it helps them have ideas and challanges away from their own worries. The important thing is not to ignor the news because you never know what they can actually “hear” and understand as they watch. Let them tell you what they think or feel…and then share your ideas and always make your points, positive. Keeping your voice tone calm, but never using language that sounds like you’re speaking to a child. Even if their memories are going – keep speaking to them with respect and keep your own mind thinking that they are able to understand.
Its amazing how emotional reactions can cause a chain re-reaction downward in one’s health. So, keeping the news in front and open – but reviewed and put in its place is really important. Don’t forget…if something is really bothering the senior, alert other care-givers or visitors to keep the conversation upbeat…do not allow the doom and gloom to over shadow the days events. Always use the tip – of ending conversations with another subject or idea for them to ponder…that will bring their mind onto something that can keep them calm as you leave the room.
Please visit my home page for more information on senior care-giving and do leave me a question you may have and I will do my best to answer – Thank you, francy