It’s all too easy to get caught up in the everyday tasks of caregiving for an older adult you care about. There is so much to be done, and often 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 things for a lifetime; don’t they deserve a break? The reality, however, is that helping seniors maintain dignity as they age is exceedingly important.
Retaining independence and dignity during our later years originates from having a feeling of purpose and meaning in life. Even though ensuring safety is, of course, paramount, there are ways to empower a senior loved one in your care to remain in control as much as possible. For instance:
- Work together on daily tasks. While standing at the sink and scrubbing dishes may be difficult or unsafe for your older loved one, maybe he or she can sit at the table and dry them. The senior might not be in the position to bake a cake from beginning to end but can mix ingredients while you reminisce about recipes made through the years. It could take a little consideration, but even so, it’s valuable to come up with techniques to alter tasks to incorporate the senior’s assistance whenever possible.
- Allow for decision-making. Seek out opportunities to ask for the older adult's input, allowing him or her to remain in control. In lieu of presuming she or he will want a ham sandwich for lunch, ask. Before automatically accompanying a senior loved one into the physician's office for an exam, ask if she or he would like you there. Having a say in even the most basic decisions can make a major difference in self-esteem.
- Establish safety with respect. Safety is, definitely, extremely important, but there are ways to make sure a senior remains safe without overstepping boundaries. Medical alert systems, for example, are a great tool to encourage independence in seniors while providing them with the means to call easily for help when needed.
- Hire trained in-home caregivers. Some seniors resist the thought of their adult children assisting them with personal care needs, such as taking a bath or using the toilet. A professional care provider, who is highly trained and experienced in helping seniors maintain dignity while staying safe, can be a more agreeable solution.
Connect with the professional care team at Amy’s Helping Hands for additional information about our trusted Windsor-Essex senior care services, always provided with the respect and attention to dignity older adults deserve. We are available for as little as a few hours every week up through and including 24/7 care. Call us at 519.915.4370 today!