The Best Senior Care: Treat Them with Respect
If you’re a family member or an adult child caring for a senior parent, you understand it’s a complex relationship. The roles you traditionally held are reversed. Now that you’re in the position of providing senior care, it’s up to you to explain the doctor’s instructions and make sure your parents are taking their medications. You’re the teacher to the person who once taught you.
The caregiver role can be incredibly stressful but try to remember that while you are thrust into a new role, so are they. To them, it probably feels like only yesterday they could jump into their car to run errands or hop on a flight to explore another country. Now, not only is their world a lot smaller, they may be forced to navigate it with a walker or scooter. But it’s important to remember, they are still the same people inside, even if their mobility and level of independence have changed.
Respectful Senior Care Strategies
At Visiting Angels®, we know that family caregivers play an integral role in keeping their loved ones safe and happy at home. We also know this role comes with stress. We’ve gathered this list of senior care strategies that can help family caregivers communicate, engage, and care for their loved ones.
Many seniors want to feel as independent as possible. Even though they may need assistance stepping off a curb, they don’t want to feel dependent. Those are the times to subtly assist. You can casually offer help with a comment like, “Wow, this curb looks slippery, let’s hang onto one another!” By inserting yourself into the situation, they won’t feel as needy.
The world spins quickly for them, and they may not be current with trending topics. They may instead wish to regale you with tales from their younger years. Let them. You may know the stories by heart, but if sharing them gives your loved one joy, then that’s all that matters.
Defer to Them
Over a holiday or family dinner, it’s easy for seniors to get lost in the conversations whizzing around them. Take opportunities to ask them what they think or encourage them to share a story about the topics being discussed. Giving them center stage can help to make them still feel connected to the family and the world around them.
Give of Your Time
Time is a precious commodity, so give them quality time. You may have spent several hours on a Tuesday going to and from a doctor’s appointment. But if possible, make a plan to pick up dinner another night that week and bring it over so you can enjoy a movie together. Their days are often full of maintenance-type, medical-driven tasks, so gifting your time to make new memories is priceless.
Picture yourself in 40 years. Would you want to be treated differently just because you’re wearing a sweater or carrying a cane? Try to relate to what this new chapter is like for them. We know you want the best for your loved one, but we also understand that providing senior care is challenging with a busy life. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, now is a good time to ask for help.
At Visiting Angels®, we are here to support you and your family with senior care services. Our care can be provided in any way that makes sense for your family and your needs. Our professional caregivers can handle personal care and household tasks, like showering, dressing and preparing meals, so you can focus on spending quality time together and building lasting memories.
Together with your family, we will give your loved one all the respect and love they deserve.