One of your senior’s biggest fears might be that you’re not so much taking care of her as taking her independence away from her. As your elderly family member’s caregiver, you might have to pay close attention to how she’s feeling around that topic as well as what you’re doing to help her to feel empowered.
Pay Close Attention to What Your Senior Is Saying
Are you really listening to your senior and what she’s been telling you? If you’re not, that’s a major cause for her to feel as if her independence is at risk. Take a deep breath, stop for a minute, and really listen to what your elderly family member is saying to you. when you do, you might just hear her telling you something that you haven’t heard from her before.
Honor Her No
When she tells you “no” about a situation that doesn’t involve her immediate safety, you need to honor that no. This is how you build trust with your senior and reassure her that you are listening and that you’re respecting her wishes. Sometimes this is going to be more difficult to do than it is at other times. Again, it’s about building trust with your elderly family member.
Don’t Leave Her Out
Leaving your elderly family member out of big decisions is another way that you might inadvertently make her feel as if you’re trying to take her independence from her. Making decisions about your senior’s life and her situation without involving her is the height of damaging to her independence, so you need to avoid that as much as you can.
Make Sure She Has Choices Whenever Possible
Choices are a huge part of remaining independent. Even if your senior needs a lot more help than she believes, she does still deserve to be able to make choices whenever she can. Having a choice, even if it’s a small one, helps your senior to realize that you’re not taking everything away from her.
There is a lot of loss in aging, especially when your senior gets to a point where her health is suffering and she needs more help than she ever expected that she would need. Respecting your elderly family member’s independence as much as you possibly can is going to help her to relax a little and allow you to do what you need to do as her caregiver.