The everyday tasks of caregiving for a senior you love can easily take over one’s days. There’s so much to be completed, and frequently it’s just easier and much more efficient to do it all on your own, letting your older 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 maintaining independence in aging is particularly necessary to our wellbeing, something that stems from needing a feeling of purpose and meaning in life.
And even though ensuring safety is, without a doubt, paramount, there are ways to empower a senior loved one in your care to remain in control whenever possible. For example:
- Work together on chores. While standing at the kitchen sink and cleaning pots and pans could be difficult or unsafe for a loved one, maybe she or he can sit at the table and dry them. The senior may not be in a position to bake a cake from start to finish but can mix ingredients while you reminisce about recipes made over the years. It may take a little thought, but it’s worthwhile to determine ways to alter tasks to incorporate the older adult’s assistance as much as possible.
- Foster decision-making. Seek out opportunities to ask for the older adult’s wisdom, allowing her or him to remain in control. Instead of assuming he or she will want a turkey 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. Having a say in even the smallest of decisions helps make a big difference in self-esteem.
- Establish safety with respect. Safety is, obviously, extremely important, but there are ways to make sure a senior stays safe without overstepping boundaries. Medical alert systems, for example, are a great strategy to promote independence in seniors while providing them with the means to call easily for help when needed.
- Partner with 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 being able to help older adults with maintaining independence in aging, can often be a more agreeable solution.
Reach out to the professional care team at Home Sweet Home In-Home Care, the experts in senior care in Battle Creek, MI and other Michigan communities, for additional information about our trusted home care services, always provided with the respect and attention to dignity in aging that seniors deserve. We are available for as little as a couple of hours each week up through and including 24/7 care. Reach out to us at (866) 229-2505 today! For a full list of the communities we serve, please visit our Locations page.