Many times family caregivers and aging adults find themselves bumping heads over care issues.
Ironically, offering your senior more choices can help to resolve situations like this one. Offering choices help your senior to feel empowered, especially at a time when she needs more help.
What Is Caregiving, Really?
Sometimes caregivers get so caught up in what they have to do and what needs to be done for and to their aging adult that they forget about the human aspect. You’re giving care to your senior, although it’s easy to get that notion all twisted up in what has to be done. When you can shift your perspective back, it’s easier to look at more of what your senior might need emotionally from you.
Get Clear about What Choices Are
As a caregiver, you might feel as if choices are going to make caregiving significantly more difficult. After all, you already have so much that you’re doing. But choices are a small way to give your senior more control over her own life. When you craft choices appropriately, they give your elderly family member so much while simultaneously taking nothing from you. You don’t need to make these complicated choices in order for them to be effective.
- Look for Opportunities to Offer Choices
- Look at the decisions that you make for your senior every day. Some of the opportunities for choices might include:
- Breakfast, lunch, snacks
- Shower now or later
- Places to visit
- Games to play
There are so many different opportunities during your senior’s day for her to have choices.
Any time that you’re making a choice for her, consider offering that choice to your elderly family member instead. If you’re still having a tough time determining when choices could be appropriate, consider working with home care providers who could model this for you.
Reflect on What Choices Do for Your Senior
After a few days of offering your senior different choices, take a look at what they’re doing for your aging adult. She might seem calmer or more relaxed with life in general. It’s amazing what even small choices can do to help build up your elderly family member’s self-esteem. Do what you can to expand those options for her to ensure she’s got as many choices as possible.
Think about what your life would be like if you had to simply deal with whatever decisions were made for you without your input. Life would be pretty dull and you might develop some pretty strong resentment. Even small choices could make a huge difference in your outlook toward your life.