Looking after those you care for is a delicate process. There is a fine line between offering love and support and giving advice that may not be desired. Other times, advice is precisely what your loved ones are looking for. Yes, it’s confusing, but with some skill, you can navigate how to look out for those you love. Here’s how.
Look Out For Their Safety
When caring for aging people, it is essential to provide them with the support they need to live healthy lives. We can’t always be there but can set things up for them in advance. Just make sure that if you give an inch, they don’t take a mile! Your generosity is your choice.
If you are looking after an elderly loved one, you should do what you can to care for their safety. If they are living in a retirement home or another care facility, make sure to run background checks on staff.
You should also run background checks on in home caregivers as well. Doing for others what they can’t do for themselves is an integral part of caring for those you love who may be at vulnerable points in their lives.
Give Them Grace
If those you care for are going through a difficult time or transition, giving them grace (should they act irritated or frustrated toward you) is vital. Maintain your understanding that they are trying their best and have a lot on their plate. If you give them grace, you can keep the peace between the two of you and continue helping your loved ones.
It can be challenging not to take things personally when someone is venting their frustrations on you. Still, you can always assert healthy boundaries for yourself and listen to the boundaries of the person so that both of you get what you need. If you want to show up for those you love, take the selfless route and give them grace, so long as it is possible for you and your needs.
Give Them Space
Sometimes, being there for someone else means providing a sense of distance between you and them. We all need time to ourselves, and often, the best thing we can do for each other is give the space needed to work through difficulties and personal challenges. Let your loved ones come back around when they’re ready, and know that your moral compass is pointing in the right direction.
Remember that when people distance themselves, they need time to process what is going on with them. Without allowing others this time to process in private, we may overwhelm them and make it harder to show up for them and provide the support we want. Sometimes, it’s best to give people space.
Invite Them To Events
When it feels like good timing, invite those you care for to fun activities or events to keep their spirits up. Small get-togethers and family dinners are also great opportunities to spend time together and show those you love how much you care for them.
While inviting those you love to activities is a good idea, be sure to consider their needs for space as well. You don’t want to be over involved in their lives. Try to strike up a healthy balance to achieve the best outcomes in your relationship with them.
The Bottom Line
There is no ideal formula for looking after those you care for. You can rely on interpersonal skills that maintain healthy relationship boundaries and avenues for support so that your loved ones can always feel supported by you, wherever they are in life.