senior safety - personal care atlanta

Learn how to strike a balance between safety and independence for seniors

It’s a conflict that arises for many families: older adults adamantly want to age in place at home, while their loved ones worry about their safety. And there’s an argument to be made in both instances. Older adults, particularly those who live alone, face a variety of risks: falls that can result in serious injury, difficulty in maintaining the lifestyle to which they’ve become accustomed as aging progresses, even a vulnerability to scam artists. Yet independence is vital to self-worth, regardless of age.

Striking a balance that meets the needs of both sides can be challenging, but there are some important factors to consider that can help.

  • Let go of ageism. While there is certainly validity to concerns over safety for older adults at home, especially if they live alone, the other side of the equation is our perception of aging. Pioneer Network President/CEO Penny Cook explains, “Our negative perception helps marginalize older adults. They become ‘less than’ because that helps us cope and then we take on the parental model.” A shift in this thinking allows us to maintain the respect for seniors that they so rightly deserve, and to understand how essential it is for them to remain as independent as possible throughout aging.
  • Know their rights. Legally, unless older adults are struggling with cognitive issues, they continue to have the right to make decisions independently – even if the choices made are not the ones we would have chosen for them. Attorney Barbara Cashman explains, “Even if I decide to give my money away, a judge could say that it’s my money and my choice what to do with it.”
  • Communication is key. As with any conflict, calm, reasonable conversations are the best weapon in diffusing difficult situations and coming to a resolution that works for everyone. Sit down with your senior loved one and explain your concerns, but be ready to listen with an open mind to his or her thoughts and feelings. Understand that a resolution may not be reached in one discussion; use an initial conversation as a starting point, and agree to revisit the issue periodically to reassess.

Most importantly, know that there is a viable alternative: professional personal care in Atlanta and the surrounding area provided by Atlanta Home Care Partners. We can help in a variety of ways to enhance senior safety, providing family members with peace of mind, while empowering seniors to maintain independence, making their own choices and decisions in the comfort and familiarity of home. Contact us online or call us at (404) 228-0103 for an in-home consultation to learn more.