portrait of a sprightly looking 90 year old man

Retaining independence can empower seniors to feel a sense of purpose and meaning in life.

It’s very easy to get swept up in the day-to-day tasks of caregiving for a senior you love. There is so much to be done, and frequently it is just quicker and more efficient to do it all yourself, letting the senior relax. After all, our elders have taken care of everything for a lifetime; don’t they deserve a break?

The reality, however, is that retaining dignity and independence throughout aging is extremely important to our wellbeing, something which originates from having a sense of purpose and meaning in life. Even though ensuring safety is, without a doubt, our primary concern, there are ways to empower a loved one in your care to remain in control as much as possible. For example:

  • Work together on chores. While standing at the kitchen sink and scrubbing pots and pans could be difficult or unsafe for a senior, perhaps he or she can sit at the table and dry them. The senior may not be in the position to bake a pie from start to finish but can mix ingredients while you reminisce about recipes made over the years. It might take a little consideration, but it’s worthwhile to identify techniques to alter tasks to include the older adult’s help whenever you can.
  • Permit decision-making. Watch for opportunities to ask for the older adult’s choices, allowing him or her to remain in control. Instead of assuming he or she will want a turkey sandwich for lunch, ask. Before automatically accompanying a loved one to the doctor’s office for an exam, ask if he or she would like you there. Having a say in even the most basic decisions tends to make a difference in self-esteem.
  • Establish safety with respect. Safety is, clearly, critical, but there are ways to make sure an older adult stays safe without overstepping boundaries. Medical alert systems, as an example, are a great way to promote independence in older adults while providing them with the means to call easily for help when needed.
  • Hire trained caregivers from an agency. Some older adults balk at the idea of their adult children helping them with personal care needs, such as taking a bath or using the toilet. A professional caregiver, who is trained and experienced in being able to help older adults maintain dignity while staying safe, is often a more agreeable solution.

Reach out to the professional care team at Atlanta Home Care Partners for additional information about our senior care in Dunwoody and the surrounding areas. We are available for as little as a couple of hours weekly up through and including 24/7 care. Call us at 404-228-0103 today!