While working on information gathering for the Elder Care booklet, some distrubing facts surfaced.  As we age we do revert back to behaviors as a child.  At best a human’s aging is in reverse of their growing up years.  Remember the begining stages of raising a child?  If you are taking care of a parent, there may be signs of the aging reversal.  For instance, one of the rules in handling the elderly: the “older” they get the less choices they can handle.  They respond better with an either/or two-option choice.  If given more choice . . . the confusion will lead to frustration and that’s when the “child” behavior surfaces, like becoming upset in some way.  Once a question was asked of female elderly and she became fixated on the the topic long after the conversation had moved to various other subjects.

Another point of comparison is reminding the elderly of appointments, schedules, personal health care, watching where they walk.  They don’t remember where things are moved— so don’t dare move an item from it’s “place”.  Otherwise, they tend to think someone is stealing from them.  It’s sad if it is true someone is doing so.  Most have to check calendars daily and one’s various appointments are logged in the date’s box.  If you want to get an elderly person a yearly calendar make sure the days have 1 1/2 to 2 inch squares for each day.

Physically, the body acts like it is in reverse also.  The older we get the slower we get.  Those around us not only have to schedule a little extra time to get places, we have to be aware that walking is much like a toddler learning to walk.  Both have fear of falling.  The somewhat alarming thing for a person taking care of an elderly parent is that unlike taking care of raising a child:  where the child learns the skills to be independent, the parent is becoming increasingly dependent.

The caregiver needs “breaks” from this situation or a frustration builds and is released in hurtful behavior.  Usually in words but it can get worse if not alleviated.  One in the position can see no way out and knows the situation is only going to get worse, and not improve.  The breaks from this should be ones that are “about the caregiver”.  Doing something for their benefit releases the tension build up of feeling the caregiver has NO control over anything in their life and they are a prisoner or slave to an “impossible-to-please” entity.  This may have to occur frequently and is measured by both the caregiver and the elderly person.  As with raising a child, no two combinations are the same.

Each of us react to what our life has been, where we have gone as well as where we are going.  It would be nice if we could all go peacefully in the night after living a full, loving life.  But some of us are going to be challenges to ourselves and others.

Auther’s Note: Most of this blog post will probably end up interjected into the Elder Care booklet we are going to self-publish at Smashwords.  One of the points of posting this is to allow others to read the “style” of our informative booklets.  Plus some may want to know their issues with aging parents are “normal”.