Ambiguous loss is a type of loss where you don't have closure or the grieving process doesn't follow the normal patterns. When it comes to older parents, you may hear this term if you have a parent with Alzheimer's. Your parent is still physically here but doesn't know you. You're a stranger to your parent, even though you have a lifetime of memories.
It leads to questions like “Should I still visit when my dad doesn't know me and becomes agitated and angry when I try to visit him?” You start the grieving process before your dad has passed away and it feels wrong.
Things You Must Do
Make sure your ambiguous loss hasn't caused you to stop eating the right foods. If you've taken to eating fast food or packaged treats, stop that habit and get back into the kitchen. Cook meals that have whole grains, fresh vegetables, and lean proteins.
Exercise is important. Get outside and walk at least 30 minutes a day. Put on a Yoga video and follow along or take a Tai Chi class. You'll learn the right movements and breathing exercises help with relaxation.
Get enough sleep. The recommendation is to get seven to eight hours a night. Aim for this. Go to bed earlier if needed. If you don't feel tired, read for an hour to help your body unwind. White noise and a soothing scent like lavender or chamomile can help you relax.
Socialize with others as much as you can. Go out with friends or siblings. Go out on a date night with your partner or spouse. Take your kids to a museum or miniature golf course. You'll enjoy the change of pace and have a chance to talk about things other than your parent's frustrations and behaviors.
Join a support group where you surround yourself with others who are in your shoes. As you learn that you're not alone, you'll feel better. Plus, others may have tips that help with some of the behaviors your mom or dad has. If your mom is always angry, someone might have a fool-proof way to stop the angry outbursts.
Learn About Respite Care
Caring for a parent who has Alzheimer's is draining. If you're feeling overwhelmed or just sad, take a break. Respite care is one way to do this. Homecare providers can help with daily tasks like medications, meals, and personal care. Take time to go out and do things you enjoy.
With homecare providers helping out, go for a drive. Take a long walk or go out with friends. You'll find the break is important in keeping a positive frame of mind.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Homecare Services in Skokie IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.