Can the Love Languages Make a Difference in Your Elder Care Journey?
Elder Care Plainsboro NJ
When you made the decision to step into the role of being a family caregiver for your aging loved ones, it was likely largely influenced by the fact that you love your parents and want them to be happy, healthy, and comfortable throughout their later years. Even if this was not the primary influence in starting your elder care relationship with them, you know the importance of showing love as part of the efforts that you put forth every day to meet their needs. As you are doing this, however, you may want to ask yourself if the love that you are showing to your parents is actually the love that they are feeling. No matter what stage you are in in your care journey, making sure that you are giving and receiving love effectively can make a dramatic difference in your relationship with your parents and in the success of your care efforts.
You may have heard of love languages and how they can impact your relationship with your partner, but these methods of showing and receiving love can just as easily be applied to any other loving relationship, including the one you have with your aging parents. By identifying the “love language” that your parents have as their primary and secondary means of receiving love you can ensure that the efforts you put forth to show them how much you love them are as successful as possible and that you can build a relationship of trust, love, and mutual respect that will improve the effects of your care efforts.
The basics of the love languages include:
- Gifts. This love language is all about feeling loved when receiving tokens of affection whether it is large gifts for holidays or just a bouquet of flowers in the middle of the week for no reason. If your seniors have this as their primary language, make it a point to bring them surprises such as their favorite beverages, flowers, or other little tokens regularly.
- Words of affirmation. Words of affirmation is literally about hearing that you are loved, appreciated, and needed. Take the time to tell your parents that you love them, that you enjoy being with them, that you appreciate everything that they have done for you, and that you are grateful for the care journey that you are on with them.
- Physical touch. Everyone needs some level of physical touch, but for some people, being touched by other people is the most important way that they receive a sense of love and appreciation. Make it a point throughout your day to give them hugs, pat them on the back, hold their hands, or simply sit close to them while you are watching television. Even little bits of contact are a constant reminder of your love.
- Acts of service. This is the language when “actions speak louder than words” comes into play. Rather than telling your parents that you love them, they need you to show this to them. Of course, as their family caregiver you are giving them acts of service every day in your elder care journey, but it is important that they see that you are doing these acts graciously and without complaint
- Quality time. You may be with your parents several times each week or even most of the day every day, but how often are you really spending quality time with them? Quality time is time spent not with the goal of completing a care task, but of bonding and connecting together. Schedule time each week just to spend time with your parents eating a meal, watching television, or going on an outing together.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elderly care services in Millstone, NJ or the surrounding areas, please call Independence Home Care today at 609-208-1111 for more information.