Community Blog

Are You Cramping Your Senior's Independence by Helping Too Much?

By Ketan Shah

It's a delicate balance for aging adults and caregivers to determine what amounts of help are just right. You might want to step in often and help your senior way more often than she actually feels is necessary. But until you work out that balance, you won't know for sure.

Talk to Your Senior about What She Really Needs

It might be time to sit down and talk with your aging adult about what she really needs from you and what she wants in terms of help. Some aging family members want and expect a certain level of assistance and when that doesn't happen, they can become extremely upset. It's also possible that your elderly family member feels you're helping her too much but she doesn't want to hurt your feelings by saying so.

Hold off on Helping until She Lets You Know She Needs It

One agreement that you and your senior might come to is that you'll help her as much as she wants when she lets you know that she needs help. This can help you to avoid jumping in too early to help or helping too much when that's not what your senior needs. Having a cue that you know to look for from your elderly family member helps to eliminate confusion. It also solves the dilemma of you feeling as if you aren't ever sure when your senior definitely needs your help.

Focus on What She Actually Can Do

So many aging adults worry about what they can't do anymore and what they're losing. Switching the script and focusing on what she still can do can do so much for your senior's self-esteem and her well-being. This also helps her to retain abilities that will serve her well later on. Focusing on what she can do also allows her to do the portions that she still can, without having to worry that she's not doing everything.

Remind Her that You Want Her to Be Safe and Happy

Ultimately, your help is all about keeping your elderly family member as safe and as happy as possible, no matter what. Remind your aging adult that all of the help that you provide her is about keeping her safety and her happiness in the forefront as much as possible. She may know all of this already, but hearing it again can be bolstering.

If you're finding it difficult to learn the balance between helping enough and helping too much, senior care providers can give you tips.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring senior care in Saratoga, CA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers today (408) 259-5930.