Many families in today’s world are what we would call “fractured”.
And this very common occurrence can cause major distress for many members of families.
It is difficult to work out why a loving family can sometimes turn on those that love them, but it is unbelievably common.
Is This Harder On Parents?
It is rare for all the family to be involved in the fracture but the power of one person can cause immense stress to many.
Often the reason the fracture has occurred can be distorted over time so the original cause is forgotten… but this impasse continues.
For the parent, this is very distressing and very difficult to deal with.
They may just bear it on their own or they may discuss it with other family members to try and get some sense of the situation that has occurred.
Either way, the effect on the parent’s health is unsurmountable.
Stress And The Immune System
While the study of pyscho-immunolgy, or the effect of stress on the immune system, is a relatively new science, there is no doubt that prolonged emotional stress will impact on the physical body eventually.
You can see more in this article: https://www.mentalhelp.net/articles/mental-and-emotional-impact-of-stress/
It used to be considered that older people suffered less from anxiety and depression but this is now known to be untrue.
Anxiety disorders are the most common form of mental illness in USA affecting an estimated 40+million people.
While traumatic events like falls or acute illness may often trigger anxiety, the effects of long term family discord will always lead to such conditions…
And they may even lead to the fall or acute illness occurring, because prolonged stress does affect the immune system and a person’s ability to remain healthy and active.
Signs To Look Out For
So what are the signs of anxiety and distress in the elderly?
There are the common things like withdrawing from society, crying, insomnia, anger and so forth.
But for more information on the symptoms go to https://www.adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/older-adults/symptoms
Or watch this….
What To Do About It
If your parent is showing any of the symptoms, look at what is happening or has happened in their life, especially within their family.
You see, a parent will do anything for their child, no matter how old that child is.
It is something they never let go of.
Yes, they may not have been a perfect parent in the eyes of the child, but it is important to recognize they did the best they could with the skill set that they had.
Changes In Life Can Cause Discord
When a child marries or takes a partner another dynamic is thrown into the mix.
The partner may or may not have grown up with the same values and beliefs but it is important that this partner does not make the parent wrong.
What does need to happen though is the adult child must always remember whatever the parent has done they have done out of love. Rarely is their malice intended.
The role of (adult) children is to protect and speak up for on behalf of the parent as the parent no doubt did for them when they were a child.
You see for most people, when you were a child you adored your parent. You didn’t see their short comings, just the love they had for you and the way they guided you.
When you become a teenager, you hated your parent. They were unreasonable in your eyes when they were only guiding and protecting you to be safe and to enter the world of adult hood.
As an adult your parent had prepared you for life and you wanted to make it on your own.
Your parent became less important in your life and, dare I say it, a little bit irritating as by this time you were able to think for yourself and objected to any influence they had on your life.
The parent had done their job but they may not always know it… because you are still their child and they want to continue to love, guide and protect you.
When they are old and frail they may become a burden on you, your life and your family but one thing is for sure…
When they are gone, you will miss them.
Help Decrease Stress & Anxiety
So have some compassion for your parent.
Mend all the rifts that may be plaguing your family so when the time comes say good bye to your parent free from any regrets.
Be proud that you did not contribute to your parent’s decline through sickness caused by stress and anxiety.
Help them to be the best they can be by giving back to them what they gave you – love.
Be a good example to your children and show them how to be a good child as an adult because you never know how your children or their partners will treat you when you are old!