January 14, 2021
It is easy to get swept up in the day-to-day tasks of caregiving for a senior you love. There is so much to be done, and sometimes it is just much easier and much more efficient to do it all by yourself, letting a loved one relax. After all, our elders have taken care of things for a lifetime; haven’t they earned a break?
The reality, however, is that aging with dignity  and independence during our later years is particularly necessary to our wellbeing, something which originates from having a sense of meaning and purpose in life. Even though ensuring safety is, of course, our primary concern, there are ways to empower a senior in your care to remain in control as much as possible. For instance:
- Work together on daily chores. While standing at the kitchen sink and cleaning dishes may be difficult or unsafe for your loved one, perhaps he or she can sit at the table and dry them. The senior might not be in a position to bake a pie from beginning to end but can mix ingredients as you reminisce about recipes made over the years. It might take a little planning, but it’s valuable to identify techniques to alter tasks to include the older adult’s help whenever you can.
- Permit decision-making. Watch for opportunities to ask for the older adult’s advice, allowing him or her to remain in control. Rather than assuming he or she will want a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch, ask. Before automatically accompanying a loved one into the physician’s office for an exam, ask if he or she would like you there. Giving your loved one a say in even the most basic decisions helps make aging with dignity and self-esteem a priority.
- Ensure safety with respect. Safety is definitely paramount, but there are ways to ensure a senior stays safe without overstepping boundaries. Medical alert systems, as an example, are a good strategy to promote independence in seniors while providing them with the means to call easily for help when needed.
- Partner with professionals. Some older adults resist the idea of their adult children assisting them with personal care needs, such as using the toilet or taking a bath. A professional in-home caregiver, who is highly trained and experienced in helping seniors maintain dignity while staying safe, can be a more agreeable solution.
Reach out to the professional care team at Continuum to find out more about our trusted 24-hour home care in St. Louis and nearby areas, always provided with the respect and attention to dignity older adults deserve. We are available for as little as a couple of hours weekly up through and including 24/7 care. Give us a call at (314) 863-9912 today!