Dignity is a powerful emotion that helps seniors feel as though their lives have value. The changes that occur in the senior years could cause your elderly parent’s dignity to be replaced by a sense of futility and embarrassment. Since everyone undergoes some type of health change or loss of their abilities as they age, it’s important to implement practices for senior care that can protect your loved one’s self-worth.
1. Involve Your Loved One in the Decision-Making
Seniors who feel respected are more likely to retain their dignity. Ask your loved one how he or she wants to be cared for rather than making all the decisions for him or her. If your loved one is unable to make reasonable major decisions independently, try to provide acceptable opportunities to make choices. For example, your parent can decide which clothing to wear each day or whether to bathe at night or in the morning. This can give your loved one a feeling of control over what happens to him or her each day.
2. Encourage the Use of Assistive Devices
Your parent is at greater risk for losing dignity when he or she faces difficulty with daily tasks he or she used to be able to do independently. Most older adults prefer not to have people help them get dressed or use the bathroom. Assistive devices prolong how long seniors can do these types of things on their own. Look for buttonhooks, extendable reachers, and ergonomic eating utensils that can help your loved one manage many of the activities of daily living.
Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional live-in care Fort Myers, Florida, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver.
3. Practice Empathy & Compassion
A large part of how your loved one feels about aging depends on your reactions. Try not to respond negatively if your loved one has an accident or forgets to do something important. You might also schedule extra time in your daily routine for your loved one to get things done independently.
Receiving compassionate care helps older adults maintain optimal physical, mental, and emotional health and allows them to live with dignity. At-home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.
4. Find Ways to Turn Losses into Positives
Over time, your parent may experience perceived losses you can reframe as opportunities to enjoy this new stage in life. For example, your parent might be upset about having to turn over the car keys for safety reasons. This is a chance to highlight how nice it is to just relax and enjoy the ride while a caregiver does all the work. Your loved one might want to use this time to read, send emails, or even connect with friends and family over the phone, since he or she doesn’t have to focus on the road.
5. Provide Professional Assistance with Sensitive Needs
Conflicting roles can impact dignity. It’s possible your loved one would rather not have his or her adult child help with changing his or her clothes or taking a shower. Try not to take this personally. Instead, find out if your parent would rather have a professional handle certain aspects of his or her care. This could make your loved one feel empowered to speak up when he or she feels uncomfortable.
Maintaining dignity is crucial for a senior’s emotional wellbeing. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide senior care. Fort Myers families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties. To hire a dedicated caregiver, call Home Care Assistance at (239) 449-4701 today.