Many adult children grew up admiring their parents’ strength and independence, and some seem almost surprised to find themselves taking on the role of family caregiver more and more. But needing help from time to time is a natural part of getting older. The need for elder care of some sort is almost inevitable. Still, it is important to both adult children and the seniors themselves to hold onto as much independence as possible for as long as possible.
Where is the Need Coming From?
While most seniors want to stay as independent as they can for as long as possible, some start to ask a family caregiver for more and more favors even during times when they may not truly need the help. They might ask for rides or help with chores that they have recently handled unassisted. This might happen if there has been a sudden change or loss in their life. They might call on an adult child after a spouse has passed away, after they have recently retired, or suddenly call on an adult grandchild if their own son or daughter have moved out of the area. In these cases it is important for the family caregiver to be supportive of their loved one’s need for company. They may offer to come over just to visit, go to lunch, see a movie, or do some shopping purely as a social event. This way the senior doesn’t feel compelled to think of a reason to ask for a visit. If all they need is company, they are more likely to ask for just that.
It is also good for a family caregiver to encourage an elderly parent or grandparent to stay social. They can get involved with a volunteer group geared toward seniors or other social group such as a book club. The more an older person stays engaged in life, the more likely they are to maintain more of their independence.
While some seniors seems to lean on family when daily tasks start to become more difficult, others may start to withdraw, especially if they don’t feel comfortable asking family members for help. This is another reason why it is important for adult children to continue to make social calls. Not only will they benefit from their company, but they will be able to see if there are signs that their parent might need help they are not asking for. For example, their housekeeping skills might start to deteriorate, or they may start eating more frozen meals or fast food to avoid cooking.
Many seniors feel a strong attachment to their homes, and some may try to hide their need for assistance if they think it may mean leaving to live somewhere else.
Keeping a Life of Their Own
While an adult child may want to do whatever they can to help an elderly parent, they have their own responsibilities and sometimes physical limitations that prevent them from providing all the assistance that parents need. This is when it is their turn to reach out and ask for help. Often, in-home care is a good solution. In-home care services range from full time live in care to helping with a few chores or providing companionship for a few hours a week.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in the New Haven Area, please call and speak to the caring staff at Talem Home Care. Call today at (203) 590-9099.