It is simple to get swept up in the everyday tasks of caregiving for an older adult you care about. There is a great deal to be done, and frequently it is just quicker and more efficient to do it all yourself, letting a loved one relax. After all, our elders have taken care of everything for a lifetime; don’t they deserve a break?
The reality, however, is that to retain independence and dignity in our later years is incredibly important to our wellbeing, something that stems from needing a feeling of meaning and purpose in life. And even though ensuring safety is of primary concern, there are ways to empower a senior in your care to remain in control as much as possible. For example:
- Work together on activities. While standing at the sink and scrubbing pots and pans may be difficult or unsafe for a senior loved one, maybe he or she can sit at the table and dry them. The senior may not be able to bake a meal from start to finish but can mix ingredients as you reminisce about recipes made over the years. It could take a little thought, nevertheless it’s worthwhile to find approaches to alter tasks to incorporate the older adult’s help whenever you can.
- Allow for decision-making. Try to find opportunities to ask for the senior’s input, allowing her or him to remain in control. As opposed to presuming he or she will want a turkey sandwich for lunch, ask. Before automatically accompanying a loved one into the doctor’s office for an exam, ask if he or she would like you there. Having a say in even the smallest of decisions can make a major difference in self-esteem.
- Establish safety with respect. Safety is, clearly, critical, but there are ways to make sure a senior loved one stays safe without overstepping boundaries. Medical alert systems, for example, are a good strategy to encourage independence in older adults while providing them with the means to call easily for help when needed.
- Hire professional caregivers. Some seniors resist the idea of their adult children helping them with personal care needs, for example, using the toilet or taking a bath. A professional care provider, who is trained and experienced in being able to help seniors maintain dignity while staying safe, is oftentimes a more acceptable solution.
Contact the professional care team at Seniorcorp to find out more about our trusted home care services, always provided with the respect and attention to dignity older adults deserve. With senior services in Suffolk, VA, and the surrounding area, Seniorcorp is available for as little as a couple of hours each week up through and including 24/7 care. Contact us at 757-640-0557 today!