Take a minute to breathe / take a minute to read

It would be nice if life gave you a heads up before a massive change. Usually that has never happened in the history of the world.

Recently, one of our employees asked our direct service team for advice on how to support an older parent experiencing a sudden cross-country move and lifestyle change. Connectedly’s direct service team had a team few core pieces of advice:

  • It is good to acknowledge the change is going to be hard. Change is hard. Not knowing what to do is harder. Mostly for someone whose sense of purpose is tied to something that has ended.
  • Ask the person to imagine an ideal world what their day would look like.
  • Patience and normalizing of new reality is important! Try to build new short-term routines that a person can try for a month.
  • Watch your tone when speaking to the person you are trying to help. Mostly if it is a parents who is used to being in control or the boss.
  • It can be hard for the person undergoing massive change to make decisions! When your life is upside down, it can be hard to figure out what you want for dinner. Asking them to decide and then getting upset when they don’t know what to do is not helpful.
  • Giving choices can be helpful. Include them in the decisions. Figure it out together! Empathy and collaboration are the foundations for helping someone cope with change.

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