Something that weighs so heavily on someone's mind that they never might have thought of when they were younger, is their loved ones growing old. Nobody stays young forever even though we wish they did. When loved ones grow older it can become a touchy issue when thinking of helping them. Seniors want to remain active members of society but sometimes it is physically challenging for them to do so.
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Whether and ageing individual chooses to live at home with the aid of a senior home care agency, or chooses to move to a retirement home, these are some ways you can help your elderly loved one transition from ability to disability.
Encourage Their Independence
When an elderly person realizes that they are unable to care for themselves like they have done in the past, this can be quite devastating to their self-image. Take care to uphold as many activities that can be accomplished independently — nobody wants to experience feelings of helplessness when they are unable to complete basic tasks and life activities. Encourage an elderly loved one's independence. Challenge them to complete tasks that require their independence. This could be anything from three 15-minute walks per week, using a set of stairs at least one time per day, or even playing a game of chess in person or online. Engaging activities with family or even the provider of home care can help to keep the senior's mind sharp.
Do Not Point Out Deficiencies
It is never acceptable to humiliate a senior for an error or mistake that they have made. If they have forgotten where something is placed, knocked something over, or even had a washroom accident, please do not call too much attention to it. Let your loved one know that the problem will soon be taken care of, and then help them with fixing the situation. Drawing too much attention to these sorts of mistakes will only make the situation worse.
Home Care or a Facility?
When making a decision regarding your elderly family member’s living arrangements; whether they will stay at home or move to a retirement facility, the most favorable decision for most seniors is to stay in their own home, often with the help of a senior home care company. When a senior needs home care assistance, many changes to their lifestyle may be met with resistance, and this is not surprising. However, they can be supported to adapt to these changes. The goal would be to allow them as much independence as possible while still providing support as needed.
When a family concludes for whatever reason that the best option is to move an elderly member into a senior care or retirement facility, the senior may see this as their life being turned upside down. The most appropriate decision regarding a senior’s living arrangements should be made according to the level of care and support needed in order for the senior to maintain their ultimate physical, emotional and social health. Even though in home care is often the best option, let them know that there are many positive things about retirement communities, including the opportunity to interact with a group of people who are experiencing similar situations.
Losing independence and the ability to care for oneself is not easy to do and cannot be a seamless transition. It is going to be difficult, there may be miscommunications, mistakes may be made, and accidents may happen. Please remember to always support your elderly loved one when mistakes are made and challenges arise as they try to maintain their independence. Ensure that they live in a safe environment, and that the risk for falls are minimal.
A home care agency can help to relieve the senior and their family of a lot of stress and worry by assisting with tasks that cannot be completed independently by the senior, and by encouraging social engagement and monitoring for safety concerns.