According to the Canadian Association of Retired Persons, nearly 10 million Canadians provide some type of care for family members or friends. If you’re one of them and the individual you’re helping is older, it’s likely that your main focus is on assisting with daily needs and other essential aspects of care. However, it’s just as important to help your senior loved one maintain a sense of dignity. Here’s why.
It Makes Them Feel Respected
When you’re caring for an aging parent, it’s easy to get into the habit of reversing roles and treating him or her like a child. This is more likely to happen if your loved one has physical or cognitive limitations. However, treating seniors like adults when care is provided is important because it shows them you respect them. You can accomplish this goal by:
• Providing appropriate choices
• Asking your loved one’s opinion about things you know he or she can offer input on
• Getting permission first before you touch your loved one when helping with grooming, bathing, and other daily routines involving physical contact
A professional caregiver can offer support while treating your parent with the dignity he or she deserves. When considering at-home care, Edmonton, AB, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits.
It Helps Them Emotionally
How would you feel if someone suddenly hovered over you while you use the bathroom or started making assumptions about your daily preferences about everything from the TV shows you watch to the foods you eat? If you’re feeling a bit uncomfortable imagining these scenarios, this is exactly the same reaction your loved one would have if you treated him or her the same way.
This type of behavior could also contribute to depression and other changes in mood. Instead, maintain your loved one’s dignity as much as possible by involving him or her in daily decision-making and finding ways to respect his or her privacy while helping with toileting and bathing tasks.
It Helps Them Maintain Their Independence
Maintaining your loved one’s dignity makes him or her feel relevant and acknowledged, which can lead to a greater sense of independence. When seniors feel they still have a say in how they live their lives, they may be more willing to take the initiative to do things that are beneficial for their overall wellbeing, including:
• Being more socially involved with family members, friends, and other seniors
• Getting regular exercise in a way that’s comfortable for them
• Enjoying healthy meals if they know they’ll be able to choose the foods and help with preparation
Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of respite care Edmonton seniors can depend on.
It Encourages Productive Communication
Do you consistently have one-sided conversations with your loved one without really listening? Do you talk with other family members when your loved one is in the same room but act as if he or she isn’t there? If so, your loved one may stop making an effort to communicate with you. Maintaining dignity when it comes to communication means involving your loved one in conversations and making an effort to figure out what he or she is trying to convey.
You’ll ultimately be rewarded with a better relationship and more effective communication that’s mutually beneficial. Even if your loved one has difficulty verbalizing, you may be able to promote a sense of dignity by:
• Paying attention to his or her facial expressions
• Taking cues from his or her body language
• Being patient if his or her speaking pattern is slower than normal and avoiding the temptation to complete his or her sentences
Senior care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. Call us today at (780) 977-7379 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.