When you’re a caregiver for an aging parent, a lot of boundaries get blurred. In their focus on a parent’s health, many caregivers begin to ignore their parent’s natural desire for privacy. It’s important to give your parent as much privacy as possible because it can help him or her feel independent and retain a sense of self-respect. Here are a few ways to help your parent retain some dignity and privacy as you move into a caregiving role.
Ask Before Invading Personal Spaces
Remember that even though you are your parent’s caregiver, he or she may not want to share everything with you. Most people expect to have privacy behind a closed door, so always knock before entering your parent’s bedroom or bathroom. You can also ask if there are any parts of the house that should be off limits. Avoid doing things like going through journals or inspecting jewelry boxes without your parent’s permission.
Provide Cover During Exposed Moments
For many seniors, a sense of physical privacy is important for maintaining dignity, but this can be difficult when their child has to help with dressing, bathing, and going to the bathroom. Try to be sensitive and realize this situation may be as awkward for your parent as it is for you. Many seniors prefer to keep a towel or blanket draped over their lap while going to the toilet or taking a bath. They also appreciate caregivers stepping out of the restroom or looking away while they’re in exposed situations.
Taking care of sensitive issues like these can be stressful for family caregivers, too, and it’s important to recognize that you need to take care of yourself, too. Family caregivers sometimes need a break from their caregiving responsibilities. When they need respite care, Fort Myers families can rely on professional caregivers to help their senior loved ones remain safe at home.
Let Your Parent Make Independent Choices
The freedom to make decisions is an important part of having a private life. Many seniors feel like their sense of privacy is stripped from them when a child suddenly takes over all the minutiae of their daily life. Whenever possible, let your parent make independent decisions about things. Even if your loved one’s decisions seem silly or pointless to you, try to avoid dismissing them or bluntly overriding them. As long as your parent is safe and not harming anything, let him or her do things that may seem nonsensical to you without teasing or nagging.
It can be difficult to maintain the parent-child relationship you’re used to, so it may be a good idea to seek professional help when it comes to caring for your aging parent. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs live-in care, Fort Myers, FL, Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home.
Be Discreet When Talking with Others About Your Parent
It might feel normal to discuss what you’re going through with other friends and family members. However, sensitive seniors might not appreciate the idea of their acquaintances knowing they wear adult diapers or are no longer capable of driving. It’s important to avoid sharing details about your loved one’s condition unless he or she has explicitly given you permission. Your parent will appreciate knowing that his or her private matters aren’t discussed with friends, family, or strangers.
It’s always difficult when you have to depend on others for help with private matters. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care. Fort Myers families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably. To talk to one of our Care Managers and schedule a complimentary consultation, call 239.449.4701 today.