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Embracing Change With Older Adults

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Embracing Change With Older Adults

Kelly Crabbe
January 15, 2019

As we and our loved ones grow older, there are many changes that life presents to us. Transitioning through changes isn’t always easy, but I’ve learned that change is easier if I try to interact with it in the most positive way possible.
For example, my own mother-in-law recently tried to back out of her garage only to run into the garage door because she’d forgotten to open it.
There have been a couple of other incidents, but this car accident is a clear sign that – for her safety and others’ – change needs to happen right away. But how do you start that process and have that conversation?
Change may be difficult, but it can also be a good thing. If you or a loved one is going through a change, here are some ideas that may help ease the transition:

  • Talk to your loved ones and frame the change as a joint effort. Sharing your feelings can help lessen the stress of change because you don’t have to go through it alone.
  • Be proactive. If you notice concerning changes in yourself or a loved one, don’t wait to address the issue. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be. Start the process now and seek out an expert for help.
  • Plan ahead for life’s changes. Decide what you will do to prepare yourself when the time comes to stop driving, find caregiver support, or transition to an adult day program.
  • Some changes will be more difficult than others. Loss of a loved one and the changes that happen as a result can be painful and isolating, to say the least. Grief is a process that is different for everyone. It may be helpful to explore ways to work through change while dealing with grief and loss.

You can’t stop change from happening, but you can choose to embrace it and make it your own. As we move forward into this New Year, I invite you to consider ways that change can be positive.
Do you have ways of coping with change in your life?