When it comes to dealing or caring older people, it is when things get different, means as much as we think we would be good at it, but when you get practical, things get different.
For those who already been dealing or caring elderly people, honestly its one of the hardest thing to care for older parents or any elderly people you are in-charge of caring. Ok fine, its totally a normal thing. First of all i would like to differentiate between people who are caring for their parents and other who are caring for people other than parents, because there comes a difference when you treat your blood versus non blood relations due to emotions attached to them, and yes in that case we do treat them a little different, intentionally or unintentionally.
Lets ponder upon mistakes we do and how to amend them. First of all, understand their psyche; understand their wants, wishes, what they hate and above all what is their liked pattern of doing things. You doing what they want gives them alot of mental comfort that they are being listened and respected rather than just dictated. Due to this there is always a chance that they would also listen to you. Remember elderly people get sensitive even if they never been all there life, its natural to them, so keep in check if you are doing this or not.
Secondly, don’t get offended but be sure to check your voice tone. Yes, it effects them, a little high pitch, a little harshness in voice can effect their mood, level of comfortness and/or their want to tell you things. In case if you are you are dealing with parents then there is a high chance that your rough tone prevent them from telling you things they want you to do for them, in other words if i say they get scared from telling you the things. Most of you might take this point lightly, but you will really get to understand it after practising this step because you will observe your nice tone towards them not only makes them comfortable but also makes them share many things with you that they were wanted. I can understand we are also humans and changes in our personal life changes our own mood, stress level and other many factors are responsible but we have to have a strong control on our body language and tone when you have to deal them, in case if you think you are getting hyper today, or going through some of your own problem that there is a high chance of you treating them roughly, even a little bit and you wont be able to control it, Stop! Dont go to them that time or day, until you feel better but in case if they are your parents, and you living in same house with them then move to some other location inside house for a while.
Thirdly, dont treat them like kids but keep in mind they act like kids, so treat them likewise. They may show stubborness like kids, if you are eating something different from them so they may demand to eat what you are eating etc. So, especially for those who are new into this, you must not be surprised watching them behaving like kids but be careful for example if they are not eating healthy food for particular diet based food according to health condition, then instead of giving them much rational explanation, convince them like we do to kids with politness and telling them consequences of not having that particular food item e.g if there is a stroke patient and he is irritated by his condition and fears to get it so you very politely tell them if having more salt would raise bp which in turn may be a result of another stroke, so as we love you and being on a safer side lets not eat it for now. Try not to go into much rational explanations, but keep it simple and show them their importance to you.
Fourth, make them go out of home for some outing. As elderly people especially those going through illnesses or deteriorating health might feel less confident in meeting people and going out. If you are an outsider to them, make sure to do some arrangement to make their regular outdoor visits, atleast once or twice each week. It will keep their soul alive, fresh and its good for physical and mental health as well, as fresh air is never a bad idea.
Finally, Be Patient! You need a good amount of patience to deal with elderly people. They are annoying at many times but you have to control your nerves alot. If you are not patient, all of the other things you do might not work for you at all. Accepting their behaviours, mood swings, agression to everything, even at times insults (particularly you can bear them if you are dealing with parents) is what you need to program your mind about. Meditate for increasing patience and do yoga which help to keep you calm, particularly, do these when you are about to deal them.
I hope this article will be helpful for you and would have given you some idea about the most common mistakes we do and what should we actually do. Keep in mind always, that we may also reach to this age someday, so if we will treat them best today, karma will do its work for us at our time.