“Let me help you with that.”
“Sit down. Don’t overdo it!”
“Take it easy. I can handle that”
Have you ever made comments such as these to senior loved ones? Our intentions are good; we want to do what we can to help our older loved ones stay safe and healthy. However, when we try to do too much for seniors, we can end up depriving them of a sense of purpose in life and making them feel robbed of their senior independence.
For instance, if an elderly woman who spent her whole life providing for her family is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, relying on others to provide for her is likely very difficult and may even feel demeaning. It’s important to help her feel as though she is still needed by others, and there are plenty of ways to accomplish just that. Try these recommendations from Hillendale Home Care:
Seek the senior’s advice. We can learn a lot from our senior loved ones, and sharing knowledge and wisdom helps older adults feel as though they are contributing to their families. Find small ways during the day to ask the senior’s advice on how to make a favorite recipe, how to seal a crack in a drafty window, how to soothe a cranky baby, etc.
Ask for hands-on help. As caregivers, it’s our duty to help older adults with various needs, but we also realize the value of allowing seniors the opportunity to help where they can as well. It doesn’t have to be a significant task to provide a feeling of purpose. Pay attention to the senior’s cognitive and physical limitations, and ask for help accordingly. For example, someone who is confined to a wheelchair can sit at the table and help with cooking and baking related tasks, polish silverware, or help fold clothes.
Show your respect. While you might feel that your senior loved one knows how you feel about him or her, it’s a great feeling to be told how much we mean to one another. Take time to express specific ways the older person has helped you in some way and how much you appreciate that help, from being taught to cook, to parenting skills, to how to change a flat tire. Be sincere in your compliments, and speak to them often from your heart.
Seniors who need in-home care are still quite capable, in many ways, of being helpful around the house and can provide valuable insight and wisdom to their loved ones. Helping a senior continue to realize his or her value and purpose is a gift you can give each day. At Hillendale Home Care, our dedicated caregivers strive to help loved ones stay active and engaged, while receiving the care and attention they need. To learn more about our in-home care in Pleasanton and the surrounding communities, contact us today.