There’s a delicate balance when you start helping a senior family member a little more. How can you tell when you’re helping too much or too little? Communication is a big part of this dance, but it’s also about respecting the independence that your elderly family member still has and wants to maintain.
Your Senior Is in a Transitional Phase
This is an odd phase for your senior to be in. She may have been staunchly independent for her entire life and now she has situations that leave her in need of some extra help. It’s a difficult situation to be in and it can take some time for her to adjust. You might find that you have to adjust, too, because your natural impulse might be to jump in and do whatever you can for her.
Respect Her Independence
The next thing that you need to remember is that your elderly family member is an autonomous and independent person. The fact that she needs a little bit of extra help doesn’t mean that she no longer retains that level of independence that she had before. In fact, she can probably still handle a lot more than she even expects is possible.
Let Her Indicate that She Wants Help
One solution that can work very well is for you to wait for a sign from your elderly family member that she’s in need of help. This doesn’t have to be complicated, either. It can be as simple as letting her ask you for assistance. This can help to eliminate confusion and keep you from accidentally stepping on her toes. This doesn’t mean that you don’t intervene if there’s a safety concern. It simply means that you’re letting her primarily make the first move.
It’s about Building Trust
The big takeaway here is that you and your senior are building trust in each other throughout this process. You’re trusting that she’ll allow you to help when it’s necessary. On her part, your senior is trusting that you’ll give her the chance to maintain her independence as much as she is able. By working together, you can work together to ensure that she has the best experience possible.
Home care services providers can help you to find the balance that you might be missing. They have a lot of experience with helping aging adults just like your family member and they can show you how to determine when your help is welcome. This isn’t about forcing help on your senior or making her uncomfortable. It’s about giving her assistance that truly does assist her.