Discussing the Challenges an Aging Loved One May Face
As our family members and loved ones age, naturally, their needs increase while their ability to take care of themselves often decreases. As their caregivers, we are often put in a position of needing to have difficult conversations with an aging loved one to discuss their safety, wellbeing, and limitations as they age. These difficult conversations are solely to better help our loved ones age well, but can often be upsetting to the elder. While there is not a standard script for these conversations, most touch upon topics such as caring for and maintaining the elder’s home, personal care and hygiene of the elder, and losing the ability to drive.
Losing the ability to drive
Giving up the freedom and independence of driving is upsetting to most elders. Many feelings of both anger and sadness surface when an elder is no longer able to drive independently. Furthermore, many people feel as if they are a burden when they are not able to drive themselves anymore. Elizabeth Dugan covers this topic in great detail in her book The Driving Dilemma: The Complete Resource Guide for Older Drivers and Their Families. It can also be difficult for the family to find the time to do all the errands and driving. ABC offers services to help with transportation and to allow the client to get out of the house for a break. Our companions can take clients to appointments, bring them to the grocery store and help with shopping, or even bring clients out for a joy ride. Having a companion helps to promote safety and encourages the elder to get out of the house for stimulation and fresh air.
Needing assistance to maintain their home
In addition, many elders also lose the ability to take care of and maintain their homes. Everyday tasks that were once simple, such as vacuuming, doing laundry and cooking, may become difficult and unsafe for elders. ABC also offers homemaking services that can assist your loved one with cleaning and other tasks to keep a neat, safe, and clean environment. ABC’s homemakers perform daily cleaning tasks, light picking up and organizing, and assist clients with meal preparation and clean up. Having an extra set of hands around the house is always helpful and clients often grow to enjoy having their homemaker spend time with them! For family members, they feel comforted knowing that the homemaker is also a second set of eyes watching over their loved one.
Inability to care for themselves
Often elders also begin struggling with their personal care as they develop health and age-related problems. Physical limitations such as lack of vision, decreased mobility, or unsteadiness can make it challenging and unsafe for the elder to bath and groom themselves. Our home health aides are trained to assist with personal care to ensure the client is well taken care of and safe. Accepting personal care for the first time can be challenging, so our aides are taught to promote safety and also encourage independence and comfort in their relationships with their clients. Prior to starting personal care, an ABC nurse will meet with you and your loved one to develop a care plan that meets their needs and also discuss their personality, habits, and lifestyle to ensure their ABC caregiver is well matched. Our nurses provide ongoing supervision of our staff to ensure we are providing the best care possible for your loved one.
Although these conversations can be upsetting and challenging to the family, they are necessary for adding help for the elder to ensure their safety. After speaking with their loved one and discussing their challenges, it may be time to introduce homecare to promote safety and wellbeing. Give ABC a call with your questions and to schedule a free in-home assessment. We are here to help you! Our compassionate team has extensive experience in helping families through this transition stage. Introducing and accepting home care can be challenging, but our experienced staff are experts at helping your loved one through this time. ABC is able to provide insight and suggestions on methods that will help make this crucial transition period as smooth and stress-free as possible for both the elder and their family. In addition, our caring field staff are also trained and coached to make the transition to home care positive and welcoming for your loved one.
ABC’s talented and experienced staff are here to help assist your loved one with their daily needs and keep them in the comfort of their own home. Our Client Care Coordinator team works to pair our skilled caregivers with your family member to make a comfortable, fitting match to help make the process of accepting home care less stressful. We offer a customized schedule tailored to your loved one’s needs that can change as their needs change. ABC’s nurses, coordinators, and home health aides are here to help your loved one age in their home as happily, safely, and comfortably as possible. Give us a call at 781-245-1880 today to see how we can help you and your family with our personalized home care services!