You must remember as much as possible that this is your senior’s life.
While they may need your help in this time of their life, this is definitely still their life and they need to be felt that their opinions do still matter. As long as they are able to participate, they should be allowed to continue to do so. Here are some factors to consider when walking your aging loved one through the caregiving process:
They Can Still Maintain Independence
Even with the need for more help, your senior can still be as independent as possible. When you think about it, a large number of people, probably even you, need help now and again. That doesn’t mean you’re not able to remain independent in tons of other ways. The same is true for your elderly family member.
Your Senior Can Be a Partner in Decisions
Check-in with your aging adult about what their needs and wants are. Before a decision is actually made, talk it over together. Even if their ultimate response is that they trust you, it matters that you’re including them in the process of determining what might be best.
They May Be Less Resistant to Accepting Senior Care if They’re Involved
Many aging adults are extremely resistant to receiving help. But if there’s been a history of leaving your elderly family member out of decisions or taking over without their input, that could be what’s happening. By keeping them involved in the caregiving process, you’re giving them authority over what happens. That’s important and it can help them to experience far less anxiety.
Start out Slowly and Let Them Get Used to In-Home Caregiving
If your elderly family member doesn’t need big help right now, don’t offer it. Your job as their caregiver is to offer the help and care that they need, not to overwhelm them. As your senior needs or wants more help, you can definitely provide that for them. But if you push too hard, you may not get the results that you expect. Ultimately, if your elderly family member is still able to help with the decision-making process, they need to continue to be involved. Think about how you might feel or react if someone else were making all of your decisions without your input and that can help you to relate.