Caring for a senior loved one can be a difficult situation, especially when attempting not to cross the line of being controlling. Consider the fact that it is easy to overstep the bounds of concern into control when helping to care for an aging loved one.
Quite often, senior care is available for those who are older but not necessarily old. Basically, you want to be a caring child or caregiver without being overbearing. There are five basic tips that can help ensure this works out properly, while also maintaining a healthy relationship with that senior loved one.
#1 – Regular Visits
Schedule a regular day of the week where you are expected at their house for a visit. If you constantly show up unexpectedly it will appear that you are overbearing or controlling. That will very likely lead to arguments are further trouble without the lines of communication staying open. Other times you may want to call with family news or to simply bring up a fun conversation or question. There could be something that you heard on the news and once the conversation has run its course you can mention coming over for dinner, going out to a meal, or some other event together.
#2 – Maintain Open Communication
Communication on both ends is most valuable. Do not flood seniors with constant phone calls, but have a sort of schedule where they expect phone calls once a day or they know that you will call when important things happen. No matter whether your senior lives, the word “casual” is important. This senior is most importantly a loved one and friend more than a patient. It is important not to probe them with constant questions and interrogation but more to continue communication that makes them feel important.
#3 – Offer Suggestions Rather than Orders
Along the lines of open communication, it is best to continue these talks with suggestions about change or small reminders of things that may need to be done. Senior care is quite often more of a relationship than caring for a patient. At times if you notice things that are unusual from their previous norms, such as laundry laying on the floor or dirty dishes on the table, then it is helpful to mention these items as a suggestion to be taken care of rather than ordering that it be done right away.
#4 – Give Seniors Plenty of Space
As a part of helping seniors maintain their independence, it is quite important to offer them plenty of space. No matter where it may be best for your senior to live (e.g. assisted living, their own home, or your home), it is important that they have plenty of privacy in their own space. They still need to be responsible for plenty of their daily life tasks, especially the ones they are still capable of managing.
#5 – Make Sure that Help is Requested
It is important not to force help upon the seniors in your life. Similar to #1, it is important to keep regular or scheduled visits or even the open communication that is part of #2. With these open conversations, you can listen to what your senior has to say and offer them time to ask for anything that they may need. Maybe if there are any different requests made than you have ever heard from them in the past, you could get an idea of things that are changing overall for your senior regarding their daily needs.
Basically, the long and short of it is that seniors are people too, and they still need to have a certain amount of independence in their lives. It is important not to take that independence away from them without their request. Make sure communication and all requests remain open and casual. Don’t be an overbearing or overwhelming presence in their lives.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Health Care in Glencoe, IL, call the caring staff at LifeCare Home Health & In-Home Services. Call (888) 606-4199 LifeCare serves all of the Chicago Metro Area.