Owners' Blog

Four Ways to Preserve Your Senior's Dignity

By Hilary and Greg Eldridge

Accepting help from you and from other people can be incredibly difficult for your aging family member. To preserve her dignity, you may need to take some extra steps that can take a little time to master.

Don't Take Over for Your Senior

A common mistake for caregivers is that they want to help so badly that they'll take over just about every task for their aging family members. The reason this is a mistake is that there are still some things that your family member can do for herself. It's empowering for her to continue to do those things. Encourage your senior and step in only if she asks for help with a task. If this is especially difficult, working with home care providers can help. They can show you how to learn when it's time for you to step in and when you should allow your elderly family member to handle the situation.

Privacy Is Huge

So many aging adults lose privacy when they experience difficulties that require help. Hygiene tasks, personal care tasks, and anything that can embarrass your senior are all delicate issues. Just closing a door can be a powerful way to reassert some privacy for your elderly family member. Some aging adults feel better with a closed door even if you're the only people in the house, simply because they know someone won't just walk in.

So Is Discretion

Privacy extends into other situations, too. Be discreet when you're talking with your elderly family member about something personal. If you announce that your elderly family member needs to change her incontinence underwear, that's embarrassing. Use discreet terminology, lower your voice, and generally do what you can to protect your senior's feelings.

Choose Words and Tone Carefully

Lots of caregivers accidentally fall into a pattern in which they talk to their senior family member as if that person were a child. This is not only embarrassing, but it can feel disrespectful for your elderly family member. Remember that your family member needs help without being made to feel terrible for needing that help.

Home care providers can show you how to do these things effortlessly. Sometimes as a caregiver you feel as if you're doing the right thing to help, but it's affecting your aging adult's self-esteem. Mastering these techniques can help both of you to have the caregiving experience that you truly want to have.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring homecare in Johns Creek, GA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers, call (678) 430-8511.