July 12, 2021

family caregiver talking with senior

Continuum’s senior home care in St. Louis can help aging parents stay safe while maintaining independence.

It is not necessarily an easy task to know how to help aging parents and exactly what our role as adult children must be. We’d like what’s best for them, but if we’re not careful, we could overstep our boundaries and find ourselves trying to parent our parents.

This is especially true when safety is a worry. There’s a fine line to walk between making sure that aging parents are safe, and supporting the independent way of living they want and deserve. After all, it wasn’t all that long ago when our parents were taking care of not merely all of their own needs, but ours as well. The changeover from care provider to care recipient is typically frustrating and painful for seniors.

With this thought, there are specific elements of independent life that an older adult may now be missing. And in case we aren’t careful in the way we approach these losses, it could lead to arguments, hurt feelings, and fractured relationships.

For instance, one facet of senior independence that is often jeopardized is in others stepping in to take over tasks that could now be a little more difficult and take a bit longer for a mature adult to perform. Even though the intentions are certainly the very best, it’s actually bad for a senior’s self-worth and self-esteem. A better approach is always to allow plenty of extra time, and to only offer assistance when really necessary.

Yet one of the best indicators of freedom is the capability to drive, to go wherever and whenever we please. When driving is no longer safe for a senior, it’s vital to approach the subject with empathy and tact. Neuropsychologist Dr. Sanam Hafeez explains that all too often, adult children lose patience with their older parents, ultimately saying hurtful comments which can be truly traumatic.

He recommends avoiding phrases such as, “You’re not allowed to operate a vehicle any more!” It really is much kinder and more effective to deliver choices, and also to engage older adults in brainstorming a feasible alternative. An example of this could be, “I know it’s getting difficult to be able to see clearly now, which must ensure it is really difficult to drive. Let’s speak about some options that will enable you to definitely go wherever you want safely.”

Together, you may then end up with a plan that’s agreeable to everybody. When contemplating choices, take into account that Continuum’s caregivers are available any moment, day or night, to give safe transportation and accompaniment for seniors. Our services adapt to each senior’s wishes and timeframe, whether that means transportation to a regular lunch date with a buddy, medical or salon appointments, attending religious services, or just a Sunday afternoon drive to get out of the home and relish the scenery. We provide senior home care in St. Louis and the surrounding area. Call us at 636-861-3336 or 314-863-9912 for details.