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Helping parents & grandparents in the health crisis


How do you celebrate with your loved ones when you can't even hug each other? TCA Trainer and leading UK Coach Ann Skidmore shares an insightful and powerful message about how she celebrated Mothers Day with her elderly mother in this health crisis.

Yesterday is history,
Tomorrow a mystery,
Today is a gift. 
That is why it is called the present

I have heard the above quote many times, I’m sure you have too. Right now, when everything seems so difficult and uncertain, here’s a gift which I hope is helpful for you.  

It just so happens that today is Mothering Sunday. For the first time in many years, it was a weekend when I would not be working so would be home with my family and also with my mother. In the end, all plans were postponed which has happened for millions of people today in the U.K.  

As a professional coach, I have been able to use my skills to help my Mum manage the fact that she is frightened right now.
She has been able to speak to me and her granddaughter about her fears and she said she felt better for being able to articulate what she was most fearful about. We’ve even managed to look at possible ways of getting her more ‘on-line’ so she can connect more with us and also her friends that she feels isolated from right now.
She and her generation feel more lonely than ever right now, she told us. Like many of her friends, her lifelong partner (my dear Dad) died many decades ago. She lives a very strong and independent life in her own home and is no trouble to anyone.
However, she is paying good attention to Government advice and staying in her own home. I hasten to add she is the fittest person I know.

We asked her what she was most frightened and fearful about and she said ‘the uncertainty’.

We asked her what she needed and she said ‘to talk to you as much as possible each day’.

We have arranged that every day at a particular time we will speak with each other. She said ‘that would be wonderful’. It made her feel better and it made us feel better. Why?
Because we can be back in control of something whilst a lot of other things feel out of control right now.

So what is the gift then?!  

  1. Right now, consider the people in your life – are they worrying, concerned or frightened right now? If they are, let them speak about that worry, concern or fear.
    By speaking about it, in some way, it helps to reduce the pressure.
    Then ask them ‘what do they need right now?’, that they know that you could help with, in a small way? For my lovely Mum, it was just to know she could speak with her family each day at a particular time. 
  2. Ask simple questions to help people 1) articulate their fear(s) 2) find out what they need
  3. What coaches do so superbly well is to ask great open-ended questions to help people think out loud without any judgement from the coach.

Give your gift of asking simple questions to help people you care most about articulate what is going on for them and what they most need right now.  

What most people need is someone to listen to them.

My Mum said that was the best Mother’s Day gift of all – bless her….. 😊