Coaching and Elders

Personal coaching has been taking the world by storm the past several years with its unique way of helping empower people to live fully expressed lives.  You don’t have to be a professional coach, though, in order to utilize a coaching approach.

The very tenets of coaching are great tools for enhancing relationships, and I’ve found these concepts especially useful in  relationships with elders. Skills like helping someone to clarify their intent without imposing your own will, listening fully without an agenda and accepting people exactly as they are at any given moment builds trust and creates an environment of peacefulness and harmony that may otherwise seem impossible.

As our loved ones move into developmental stages which we are yet to experience, it’s easy to fall into a the false belief that we need make every decision as they appear to become less and less capable and that the decisions are frustration and challenging.  We are constantly bombarded with ads that focus on fear, articles that spread the doom and gloom of being old and products that promise to keep us from living the dreaded phase of old age.

It’s time to shift out of that way of thinking and look at this through a different lens. Learning some coaching techniques can help.

1~ Instead of jumping to a suggestion, consider sitting quietly for a moment and eliciting a suggestion. This may seem impossible to you, especially if you are dealing with someone with a dimished capacity to process.  But it’s not impossible to show someone you are ready to listen, or at the very least, ready to stop talking for a while.

2 ~ Yes, of course you are well meaning and have their best interest at heart, but take some time to consider that you really have no idea what that is. Seriously. Even if you are considering several different options, if you are not collaborating with the person involved, you’ll only hit the target a small perceptage of time.

3 ~ Learn to hear the wisdom of the elders. This may seem pie in the sky, especially if all you’ve been hearing is a lot of babbling, or complaining, or anything that seems “beside the point”.   Once you learn to clear your mind, put your attention on the person you’re with and keep your thoughts in the present moment, miracles happen.

What will this accomplish? Plenty! First and foremost, it can help you to release the angst and anxiety that often plagues this time of life. Additionally, the resistance that often shows up from the person you are hoping to help can melt away and a true connection can emerge. And it doesn’t have to take much time.

Of course this is just a sampling of the ways you can surrender to the relationship and find more love, happiness and peacefulness. And that, my friend, can change everything.

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3 Responses to Coaching and Elders

  1. Kaye Swain says:

    Hi Natalie, Thanks for hosting the Boomers & Seniors: News You Can Use! I really enjoyed visiting all the various articles. :) Thanks, also, for including SandwichINK. :) :) :)

  2. Excellent post Natalie. My mother recently moved to our city after living in the same town for 61 years. It’s been an enormous adjustment for her; moving into a retirement community, as well as for us. She could not be in a more perfect environment. I love all the points you make. Listen. Empower. Be patient…Be loving.

  3. Thank you Natalie for this perspective. I have been telling my mom about your work wih the elderly, as she has been taking care of my Nana who has been in a facility for about 7 years now, with Alzheimer’s. I hoped she could pass this along to the facility director to initaiate some proactive change. I think most aids and nurses would be welcome to practical, effective ideas that may aid them in the amazing work they do on a daily basis. I will let you know how it goes.

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