With the recession still stressing out most Americans, many Ann Arbor locals have encountered family challenges that were unexpected, and some adults have been forced to move back into their elderly parent’s home.
Besides the close quarters or conflicts with meal schedules and the like, these adult “children” come face-to-face with role reversals as their parents become limited in what they can physically and mentally accomplish with consistency.
One possibly life-endangering prospect is helping and some times insisting that a mom or dad take the right medicinal dose or amount of pills at the prescribed time and in the correct order. This is true even for adult children who don’t live with their parents but need to step in to help them in their later years.
While a parent can become insistent that the adult child’s help is not needed or wanted, it may take the possible intervention of a Washtenaw County adult services worker under consultation with the parent’s primary physician to intervene.
Before outside assistance is consulted, try setting a time on the weekend when perhaps the stresses of appointments, meeting commitments, and other outside distractions are reduced to a minimum. Ask your parents about preparing a “Get to Know You” brunch where everyone can have a quiet meal and you can bring a brief list of questions to the table.
Remind your parents on Friday about the scheduled weekend brunch and ask them to think about some items they would like to discuss as well. It would be a good idea to have some sheets of blank paper or a notebook and a pen or pencil for them as well.
On the afternoon of the brunch, write down a couple fun things that you remember doing as a family in previous years to get everyone relaxed. Next, pray over your brunch, much like you may have done as a young person growing up in their home. It is not only comforting but it is effective in helping to promote a spirit of calmness and family unity that shows that as a unified family unit you are placing your concerns in God’s hands.
Focus perhaps on how everyone can help the other by centering on ways to make a person’s life easier by developing a workable way to prepare and take medicine. Remember to keep it simple and easy to follow.
Here are some ideas:
– If you share a bathroom medicine cabinet – color-code your medicine bottles. And if you can purchase one small plastic tri- level stackable container, each person will have a separate “drawer” for his or her medications – color-code them as well to match the medicine bottles.
– Prepare a list of all of the prescription medications that your parents take and keep three copies available for easy access. Consider attaching one list to the refrigerator, one to the bathroom wall next to the light fixture, and perhaps one in the bedroom on the inside of the door at eye level.
– Buy color-coded pill containers. Put the medicine in it listed by the days of the week. This will keep your and their mental sanity intact as to when to take the medicine and diminish any confusion concerning which medical pill container is whose. You can purchase pill containers at any pharmacy.
– If you are at your job or out on errands during the day, set a call time to act as a back up reminder to take their medicine. It will help your parents as well as preserve your peace of mind. Consider perhaps calling at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. if those are the times of their daily pills.
Turn living in new tight quarters into a way to help build renewed family spirit and a sense of joy and love which will guarantee your parents’ medicinal safety. And with daily prayer added, you and they have created a wonderful healing salve and ointment for the soul.