ways-to-be-there-for-mom

When Mom Needs You Most—Ways You Can Be There as She Ages

She was there from the beginning, pushing aside her own needs and desires to care for you and ensure your every need was met. She championed for you as you got older, fighting battles you never knew existed. She was there for you, every step of the way, and there’s nothing you could ever do to fully express the gratitude you feel for your mom. 

Now she’s the one who needs you. 

She’s getting older, and she needs your support, care, and your attention. How can you be there for her as an adult? And how can you juggle your own life and family, while helping to take care of your aging mom?

Watching your parents grow older is not easy. But remember, the first step is to just be there for her. Here are some ways you can be there for mom, today: 

Spend Quality Time with Mom

If you ask any parent what they want most concerning their adult kids, it’s very likely they will say that they wish their children would spend more time with them. As children get older, their own lives and families take up more time. While this is a part of life, it can leave aging parents feeling distant. Phone calls get shorter, trips get canceled, and time spent can almost feel like just another task on the to-do list before jetting off to little Emily’s dance recital. 

Schedule quality time with mom whenever you can, and you’ll be so glad you did. Ask her to lunch, buy her favorite magazines or books and spend the afternoon browsing them together. If you’re farther apart in distance, teach her how to use FaceTime. These little acts show mom you care about her and aren’t just acting as her nurse.

Don’t Assume the Worst

It’s easy for a child of an aging parent to think that they must step in and take as much stress off their loved one as possible. This can lead to frustration as the parent can feel smothered and controlled. Never assume that your loved one is incapable of living independently and completing daily tasks. 

Talk with them, ask them how you can help instead of assuming tasks have become too difficult for them. You’ll often find that they may need some assistance, but they feel more at ease doing it themselves even if it takes a bit longer than it used to.

Be Patient 

Growing older isn’t for the faint of heart. Physical changes aside, the mental toll can be far greater than any parent wishes to admit. Our loved ones must adapt to new ways of completing tasks that they’ve done effortlessly over the course of their life.

According to a recent study by Steven Zarit, a professor of human development and family studies at Pennsylvania State University, intergenerational relationships can be complicated by parental stubbornness.

“Adult children were more likely to say their parents were acting stubborn than the parents were to see the behavior in themselves. Understanding why parents may be ‘insisting, resisting, or persisting in their ways or opinions,’ the study reads, can lead to better communication. Zarit’s advice to the adult child: ‘Do not pick arguments. Do not make a parent feel defensive. Plant an idea, step back, and bring it up later. Be patient.’”

Steven Zarit – Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, Pennsylvania State University

Most of All, Let Her Be Your Mom

Ask any mother what they love about motherhood, and she’ll start gushing over her child. The pride she feels telling others of the accomplishments of her child, the rush of excitement she feels seeing that child go after their dreams, the love she feels bursting from every seam of her heart—all of it is worth it to her. She loves you unconditionally and wants to provide for you, and those feelings don’t subside just because she may be getting older.

Let her make you a sandwich or your favorite cookies. Let her pick out a clothing item that she thinks you’ll love. Allowing her to express her love for you the best way she knows how will put her at ease and give her a sense of accomplishment she may struggle to feel as she ages. Accept her loving acts with a smile and realize by allowing her to be herself, you’re reinforcing with her the greatest gift she’s ever had—the gift of being a mother.

If your mom needs more from her living environment than she’s able to get on her own, The Williams Home, Inc. may be just the place for her. Here at The Williams Home, Inc., we provide support for the women in our community, starting with independent living. We know what it would mean for you to place your mom. Our ladies are very important to us, and we’d love to have you join us for a visit. Schedule a tour today!