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How To Become an Aging Parents Coach?
Elderly people, especially parents, tend to undergo a myriad of physical and emotional changes as they get older. Oftentimes they do not understand what is happening to their minds and bodies and they fail to acknowledge the changes they go through. Perhaps the most gradual yet emotionally unacceptable change they notice is their children getting busy with their own lives and not having time for them.
The same children that were once inseparable from them now barely meet them once a week.
This budding sadness sets in, and aging parents tend to fall deeper into the feelings of loneliness and being unwanted leading to a decline in their mental health along with their physical health. On the other hand, adult children who are willing to take care of their aging parents are often unable to. This is because there is a gap in communication and emotional connection between the two parties.
It can also be difficult to address the severity of the situation as a result of how most parent-child relationships are. In case someone in the family does notice an issue or a problem arising, they tend to ignore it until it is too late to fix it. The difficulties that arise as a result of adult children failing to care for their aging parents can often lead to permanent cracks in relationships and cause families to drift apart. This is where aging parents coaching comes in.
Aging parents coaching is a growing profession and coaches all over the world are helping adult children overcome their weaknesses and be there for their aging parents. Coaches are assisting the mending of relationships and they are providing mental and emotional peace to entire households.
- How To Become an Aging Parents Coach?
- What Is Aging Parents Coaching?
- What Does an Aging Parents Coach Do?
- What Are the Benefits of An Aging Parents Coach?
- How To Become an Aging Parents Coach?
- What Qualifications Are Needed to Become an Aging Parents Coach?
- What Skills Are Required to Be Successful as an Aging Parents Coach?
- What Are the Certifications to Become An Aging Parents Coach?
- How Much Does an Aging Parents Coach Earn?
- What Are Different Aging Parents Coaching Methods?
- Tips For Becoming an Aging Parents Coach
- What Is the Difference Between An Aging Parents Coach And Mixed Family Coach?
- Frequently asked questions
What Is Aging Parents Coaching?
As people get older, it becomes increasingly harder for them to accomplish simple everyday tasks. Communication gets tougher and so does coordination and memory. As a result, they need plenty of help. As children of aging parents, your parents needing constant supervision and assistance might take a daunting toll on you. Many children who lead busy lives, with their work or studies often choose to admit their aging parents to old age homes and daycare centers, or they higher help. However, such decisions are not easy to take, and they can become an issue in the long run with regard to family dynamics.
An alternative is to learn how to provide the help and care your parents need. This is where aging parents coaching comes in handy. Aging parents coaching is specialized coaching available for children caring for aging parents. The service is offered all over the world, especially in the United States, and has proved to be highly beneficial for both the children and the parents. It will require effort and patience, but the process will help you grow and nurture and cherish the bond you have with your parents.
What Does an Aging Parents Coach Do?
An aging parents coach does more than just teach you how to take care of your parents. They provide you with the necessary skills needed to identify signals before they prompt a behavior. These skills can be highly useful when living with aging parents because usually the earlier the problem gets identified, the easier it is to treat and solve.
A professional aging parents coach will complete a full physical exam of your parents as well as a cognitive overview. This is needed to ensure that you are taught the right skills and trained in the most suitable way of interacting with and handling your aging parents. Additionally, they might also conduct financial and environmental assessments to formulate a clearer picture of what their clients are looking for and what they can afford.
After the assessment, the coach will be being your training. This can include recommendations with regards to specific practices you can adopt, techniques you should be using, and most importantly, the lifestyle changes you should be making in order to provide the highest possible quality of life for your parents.
Moreover, some professional aging parents coaches may also facilitate family meetings if they think they might be emotionally beneficial for your parents. They also provide contacts and help you link up with the best professionals in the field of caregiving, medicine, and even financial accountants to help you and your loved ones live comfortably overall.
What Are the Benefits of An Aging Parents Coach?
When you start realizing that your parents are getting old, it might be hard for you to adapt to the role of a caregiver initially. The challenges may seem highly daunting, and you might even regret your decision sometimes. However, it is important to note that the initial hurdles you face, are minute in comparison to the long-term benefits you will achieve. As mentioned before, aging parents coaching is not just good for your parents, it’s equally good for you. Here are a few of the many benefits that an aging parents coach can have for you.
- Provide A Listening Ear and Shoulder to Cry On
A certified aging parents coach is ought to have a deep understanding of psychology. This means that they will be qualified to provide you with a listening ear as part of the many services they offer you. Part of the job of an aging parents coach is to understand your state of mind and suggest treatment and behavioral techniques that suit not just your parents but also yourself. Having a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on can prove extremely therapeutic in times of distress and confusion when you are struggling to deal with your own emotions as well as the declining health of your parents.
- Helps With Difficult Conversations About Tough Topics Like Finances and Health
There are many conversations that should be happening in every household regularly, but people avoid them because they are difficult. These mostly include conversations revolving around financials, and declining health. These are issues that people fear the most in their lives which is why they remain in a state of denial when they are faced with their head on. An aging parents coach, because they are trained to look after the overall wellbeing of the household, will prompt and encourage such difficult conversations. Moreover, they will help guide you through them, so the end result is productive and conducive to the broader purpose of the coaching.
- Connects you with resources and support groups
As mentioned above, reputable aging parents coaches have plenty of connections not just in the field of coaching but outside of it as well. These contacts can prove helpful when you are trying to get in touch with different types of doctors and it is important for them to be connected to each other. Having a network saves you the time and effort of carrying the information from one point to another. Moreover, having the coaches and doctors connected to each other helps them to come up with better treatment plans and strategies for their clients because of feedback and detailed discussions.
- Offers Unbiased Advice
How many times have we ranted to friends and family about out stressed for them to only respond with exactly what we want to hear? The probability of a close friend or family member giving unbiased advice and/or opinion is close to none. An aging parents coach will not only give you advice but will also not shy away from highlighting things that need attention. They will say it like it is. Having an outside perspective on the stresses in your life can help you face them and consequently solve them. The advice that an aging parents coach gives you will be practical, objective, and will only be intended for your benefit.
- Helps Reduce Stress for Everyone Involved
Just having someone to talk to whenever we get overwhelmed by the struggles of life is greatly helpful. Someone trained professionally to be a good listener and offer unbiased advice is like icing on the cake. An aging parents coach is there to help you when you get too stressed about the declining health of your parents and your inability to care for them as well as you think you should. An aging parents coach will make sure that you set realistic goals for yourself and make you understand that your feelings are valid. They will help you organize and take one step at a time, thereby reducing stress for everyone involved.
How To Become an Aging Parents Coach?
Aging parents coaching is a profession that is increasingly gaining popularity all over the world. It is a service that has almost become a necessity for children who are working, studying, or managing their own families struggle to adjust to the changes in their parents with their increasing age. An aging parents coach is a certification that can be obtained online as well as through in-person courses and classes.
In order to become an aging parents coach, there are a few qualities and personality traits that you have to possess. These personality traits help you stand out from the thousands of people who are looking to take up a career in the field.
One of the traits that you should have is empathy. Empathy is something we are born with; it cannot be taught. A person will only be able to spot empathy in others if they possess it themselves. As an aging parents’ coach, you need to advocate empathy in your clients toward their parents and it cannot be possible if you are not an empath yourself.
Similarly, an aging parents coach needs to be patient. Their patience is tested on multiple instances throughout their training and their career. Distressed clients are not in the right state of mind to reason with you or understand the long-term benefits of your advice to them. In cases like these, your patience is of utmost importance. As a coach, your ability to explain your ideas over and over again without losing your patience is highly valuable and the best, most reputable coaches are those that demonstrate the highest level of patience.
To become an aging parents coach, you need to have resilience and determination. Without these two qualities, you might not be able to make it past your first few clients. Your drive and passion to help your clients is the single deciding factor when it comes to whether you will succeed in your career or not.
What Qualifications Are Needed to Become an Aging Parents Coach?
The qualifications for an aging parents coach can differ from country to country. However, a deep understanding of psychology is a prerequisite to any style of coaching. This is important because the coach needs to be understanding of where their clients are coming from and understand the mental and emotional process behind how they are behaving.
Additionally, some degree of qualification in caregiving might come in handy and improve the overall quality of the service provided to your clients. If you know caregiving, you can incorporate recommendations in your techniques and empower your clients to be able to provide the necessary care to their aging parents.
What Skills Are Required to Be Successful as an Aging Parents Coach?
There is no objective way to distinguish a good aging parents coach from a bad one. The perceptions about service quality are highly subjective and a coach which could help your friend, just might not work for you. However, there are a few basic skills that every aging parents coach should have in order to be eligible to be one.
- Understand The Aging Process
There are widespread misconceptions about how human beings age and what constitutes a “better” way to age. Since identifying those misconceptions and debunking the myths is beyond the scope of this article, we will emphasize the coaches’ requirement to have a thorough understanding of the aging process. This means they should be aware of the fact that everybody ages differently and every human body changes in its own way over time. Therefore, applying one objective formula to every client in terms of strategy and techniques will not be helpful.
- Learn How to Communicate with Older Adults
It would be an understatement to say that elderly people are a challenge to talk to depending on their age, the environment they have been brought up in, and the current state of their mental health. They often tend to be very stubborn about what they want and convincing them otherwise is not everyone’s cup of tea. Knowing how to converse with an elderly person productively is a skill and it is a skill that every aging parents coach should be proficient at.
- Offer Support and Resources For Caregivers
It is important to keep in mind that the well-being of the elderly person is directly linked to the well-being of their children who have come to you for help. If they are not on board with the techniques and strategies you are advising, it all just may be a waste of time. One way to ensure their collaboration and commitment to the cause is to offer support to them throughout. This support can be in the form of availability, accessibility, and being a source of information.
- Advocate For Seniors’ Rights and Needs
As is true for any career in the world, if you are not passionate about the work to do, you are very likely to fail. Similar is the case for aging parents coaching. If you are aware of the problems faced by your clients from day to day, and you don’t have sentiments towards these problems, you might be able to perform your job as well as you would otherwise. Therefore, it is advised that an aging parents coach should read up about the struggles of living as an elderly citizen in their respective countries and advocate the cause of their rights and provide support whenever and however they can.
- Help Families Connect with Community Services
Community services are an integral part of any society. They help bridge the gap between the government and the private sector and the general public. The services the government and the private sectors fail to provide are provided by community service organizations and they help fulfill the needs of the citizens of the society. As an aging parents coach, it is your responsibility to connect families in need with community services so that they can avail the services available to them and their quality of life can be improved.
- Promote Healthy Living Habits for Seniors
While certifications are important to start as an aging parents coach, in order to be recognized as someone good at what they do, additional effort may be required in terms of gaining knowledge and imparting it. Clients are mostly clueless about what they are doing wrong as far as their lifestyles are concerned and are often stuck in cycles they can’t escape from. Researching healthy living habits for elderly people and imparting the information to your clients is a useful skill that will help you bring more value to your service.
- Help Parents Stay Active and Engaged In Life
Apart from coaching the children of elderly parents, it is productive to also coach parents and help them find the solutions to their problems independently. You can do this by coaching the parents on how they can become and stay an active part of their children’s lives while respecting their boundaries. If they remain active in that aspect, they are more likely to avoid feelings of loneliness and uselessness. A majority of the decline in elderly people’s lives comes from their poor mental health and being involved in their children’s lives can help improve it greatly.
What Are the Certifications to Become An Aging Parents Coach?
While a degree or diploma in psychology is a prerequisite to becoming a coach, specific certifications vary from country to country. The profession is relatively new which means there might not be many organizations or institutions providing relevant courses. However, every country does have a few, reputable institutions that train individuals to become coaches and be able to help their clients with issues they might not be able to resolve by themselves.
How Much Does an Aging Parents Coach Earn?
The earning of an aging coach varies from country to country and his experience. An aging parents coach earns anywhere between $30,000 to $50,000 annually.
What Are Different Aging Parents Coaching Methods?
When it comes to methods, aging parents coaching is largely similar to any other type of mental coaching. For starters, coaches need to be open-minded about the fact that there is no one fool-proof method of coaching clients. Methods can vary from client to client and a good coach adapts to the needs and preferences of the client. Coaching methods can be as creative as you make them, but there are a few basics that every aging parent coach should have up their sleeve.
Perhaps the most common aging parents coaching method is a democratic one. This style works how all democracies work; by taking into consideration the ideas, preferences, and concerns of all parties involved. More specifically, the coach involves the client in all of the decision-making about coaching techniques and expected results as well as timelines. The client has full autonomy over the techniques used with them and the coach provides support throughout the process. This methodology encourages competency, motivation, empowerment, productivity, and most of all, commitment.
In this method of coaching, the coach takes a completely opposite approach to a democratic one. There is no client input, and the techniques and desired results are all decided by the coach. The coach can even go to the extent of operating as a dictator. This is because their focus is on efficiency and productivity. While this is an approach that is often frowned upon in the field, the coach understands that there are some situations in which a democratic approach might not help yield the best results. Moreover, this style also prevents the client from projecting their own insecurities and stresses into the suggestions they make, which might lead to a waste of resources and time.
- Laissez Faire
This is an approach that is built on the belief that clients possess the ability to make their own decisions and choices to achieve the goals defined for them. The term means, “leave to do”. This approach is often used in the business world as well where employees are made aware of the expected results, and they have autonomy on the approach they want to take in order to achieve them. Laissez faire coaching method might not be feasible for all situations and might come off as the coach dumping responsibilities on the client. However, a proactive coach should be able to evaluate the demands of the case at hand and adjust their approach accordingly.
Tips For Becoming an Aging Parents Coach
While certain certifications are necessary to qualify as an aging parents coach, there are a few helpful tips that an aging parents coach can use to put in that extra bit of effort in order to improve their service to their clients.
It is highly likely that you come across clients whose morals, values and style of thinking might not align with yours. As with all similar professions, it is extremely important to always approach all of your clients with an open-mind and listen to their predicament without any kind of internal or external judgement. A client will only open up and let you see their vulnerable side if they believe and trust that their words will not be met judgment or moral policing of any kind.
Trust Your Clients
It is not uncommon to see doctors, therapists and consultants being involved in the lives of their client to an extent that the client feels uncomfortable. This is mostly because coaches do not trust that the goals they have set for their clients will be achieved in a timely and efficient manner unless there is constant supervision. However, this does more harm than good. You client will end up feeling distrusted which might fully demotivate them. Therefore, it is important to give your clients the space to make their own decisions and to trust that they will come to you if they need you.
Celebrate Small Victories
Client motivation is the key to ensure long-term progress. And there is no better motivator than the celebration of small steps, the small victories. The progress of an aging parent coaching client is long-term because it takes time to achieve significant results. Therefore, it is probable that your client might lose the motivation to continue if they do not see recognizable differences right away. In order to prevent that from happening, it is important to celebrate the small, short-term victories regularly. This will ensure that they don’t lose sight of the big picture and continue with determination.
What Is the Difference Between An Aging Parents Coach And Mixed Family Coach?
Mixed family coaching is focused on individuals living in a mixed family and helping them adapt and accept each other to improve the well-being of the whole household. A mixed family coach has slightly differing certifications when it comes to specializations because they have to deal with clients who are learning how to live together while being fully capable as children or adults. On the other hand, aging parents coaching involves working with clients who are practicing caregiving. Caregiving has a lot to do with knowing the medical needs of the elderly in your house whereas mixed family coaching has a more social aspect to it. The processes and methods involved in both types of coaching might be similar, but the end goals are different.
In conclusion, aging parents coaching is one of those services that can help make a huge difference in your clients’ lives. Besides helping them learn more about their elderly parents, a coach helps bring them mental and emotional peace, mend family relationships and overall improve their quality of life.
Frequently asked questions
What Is An Aging Parents Coach And What Do They Do?
An aging parents coach is a certified professional who provides coaching to adult children struggling to provide for their elderly parents, both physically and emotionally. They help clients understand their parents and be there for them to the best of their abilities. Moreover, they also link up clients to networks of healthcare professionals that contribute to the overall well-being of the client.
How Will an Aging Parents Coach Help Me?
If you have aging parents and you are considering shifting them to an old-age home because you feel inadequate when it comes to caring for them because of your commitments, an aging parents coach can help you fit the role of a caregiver at home, relieving the feeling of guilt. This also improves relationships with your parents because they feel more valued and loved.
What Are the Benefits of Having a Coach for Aging Parents?
Having a coach for aging parents is helpful because it helps both parties understand each other’s needs and provide for them to the best of their abilities. A coach can give you unbiased advice and an outside perspective that is important to make you identify and admit problems. Moreover, a coach provides a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen to your frustrations and distresses.
What Are Some Common Issues That Coaches Help Aging Parents Address?
Coaches can help aging parents understand why their adult children cannot give them all of their time because of their own families or work commitments. They can help them have difficult but important conversations with their children about emotions and all other issues that arise as a result of the generation gap. Additionally, aging parents coaches can encourage parents to adopt healthier lifestyles to contribute to their physical and mental wellbeing.