Never let it be lost on you that losing independence is very hard for most elderly people to take. While it’s important for you to often be by the sides of your aging parents to provide them with the care they need, there will also be moments when they’ll need their privacy. By offering them some private time, you help your elderly folks to feel independent. This restoration of independence can go a long way in improving their moods and daily outlooks on life.
Knock before entering the bedroom.
This simple courtesy is an easy way to respect the privacy of everyone in your household. However, it can often be forgotten when dealing with elderly individuals. Yes, your aging parent may regularly require your assistance with such tasks as getting dressed or getting into bed. Nevertheless, knocking on the door before entering his/her room is a clear way to show that you respect his/her privacy.
“Family caregivers should never walk into their parent’s room when the door is shut,” insists Sila Melika of Home Care Assistance in Solon, Ohio, “The bedroom may be the only area of the home where seniors feel like they have control, so entering without knocking is a direct violation of their privacy. However, if you knock several times and there’s no response, you should enter to ensure your loved one hasn’t been harmed or injured.”
Offer privacy breaks.
Respecting the privacy of your elderly loved one doesn’t necessarily entail leaving them alone for hours on end. In fact, it’s wise to not offer that much space. After all, the health and well-being of Mom and/or Dad must continue to be your top priority. Simply give him/her some privacy breaks throughout the day. Jessica Fairbanks of Cedar Falls, Iowa’s Home Care Assistance suggests spending half an hour apart from your loved one every afternoon.
“For seniors and caregivers who live together, it’s important to maintain boundaries of communication, time, and independence,” she writes, “If you spend too much time together, these boundaries may start to blur. To uphold these boundaries, take frequent breaks.”
Give your folks the benefit of the doubt.
It’s important to adequately assess the mental capacity of your aging parents. Just because they are elderly, it doesn’t mean they aren’t of sound mind. Unless either of your folks have been diagnosed with any form of dementia, it’s only fair that you give them your trust. As Melika tells us, when seniors have to explain themselves and justify their actions, it can feel like an invasion of privacy.
“Your loved one can still make most of the decisions in his or her life, even if you don’t always agree,” she notes, “Judging your parent and failing to trust him or her could disrupt the atmosphere at your home. Everyone makes mistakes, but not every error warrants a lecture.”
Would a scooter, wheelchair, walker or rollator help your elderly loved one to feel more independent? Would it give him/her access to greater privacy if he/she could get around without assistance? Please don’t hesitate to contact Advantage Home Health Solutions for information about the high-quality mobility solutions we offer. Call us at 403-460-5438 today. You may also email us by filling out the form on our Contact page!