“Come on Nan, get up that ladder it’s not that high, you need to learn or you’ll never be able to do it on your own.”
“You sit down Nan, I’ll put the kettle on and change the lightbulb, and then we’ll have a nice cup of tea and watch Bargain Hunt.”
Which one of these people are you?
As our loved ones enter the autumn of their lives, the urge to ‘look after’ and ‘help’ them can be a powerful pull for us younger family members.
However, we are actually doing more harm than good according to our very own Scoop Alley Life Coach Russell Cox.
Russell explained that running errands for your elderly relatives, such as doing the weekly shopping or picking up medication is essentially making them lazy and dependent on you.
Although you may think you are doing a good deed, you are effectively stealing a vulnerable pensioner’s sense of self-worth and personal pride.
Russell told us: “That self-congratulatory feeling you get after doing one of these ‘good deeds’ is in fact a mask for your shame. You are preying on the emotional independence of someone who should be able to trust you – YOU BASTARD!”
The good news is it is never too late to change, so next time you are due to run an errand for your nan, drop the bombshell that you are unable to, and leave it ‘til the last minute if you can.
She will then have to do it herself, giving her back her sense of purpose and independence. Never will the articles in the Radio Times be so interesting for her, or the pear drops taste so sweet!
You have been stealing this pride from your nan, don’t you think you should stop?
If you really want to make the maximum positive impact, you can wait until the weather is particularly bad, think driving rain and icy roads. How proud will your old nan feel once she has conquered the freezing conditions to get to the chemist and back for her bronchitis medication? She’ll feel great!
If you have the time, you can even park up at the end of her street and cheer the old girl on for moral support.
Russell also explained that another common error made regarding old people is the sense of duty to visit them all the time.
Since Grandpa died, you have felt even more responsibility to visit Nan right? Because you don’t like thinking of her alone in the house all week with only Sparky for company?
Well turn this situation on its head and ask yourself, when was the last time your Nan came to visit you? Or comforted you when you were hungover from a night on the piss?
It’s great to see her of course but break up the routine and invite her round to your house instead one Sunday.
Don’t be tempted into offering her a lift either, she has a free bus pass and she needs to start using it. After all, it’s only a four bus round trip, she’ll be back home in no time!