As our parents get older, it is not always easy to understand what our role as adult children should be. We want what’s best for them, but if we’re not careful, we will overstep our boundaries and discover ourselves attempting to parent our parents.
This is particularly true when safety is a problem. There’s a thin line to walk between making sure that senior parents are safe and promoting the independent way of living they require and deserve. After all, it wasn’t all that far back when our parents were meeting not just all their own needs, but ours as well. The change from caregiver to care recipient is generally frustrating and painful for seniors.
Bearing this in mind, there are a number of areas of independent life that an older adult may now be missing. Of course, if we aren’t careful in exactly how we approach these losses, it may trigger hurt feelings, arguments, and fractured relationships.
For example, one element of senior independence that’s often jeopardized is others stepping in to take over tasks that may now be a bit more challenging and take a bit longer for a senior adult to accomplish. Even though our intentions are certainly the very best, it is actually bad for a senior’s self-worth and self-esteem. A better approach is to allow additional time and only offer assistance when truly necessary.
As another example, one of the greatest indicators of a senior’s freedom that is often compromised is the ability to drive, to go wherever and whenever he or she pleases. When driving is no longer safe for a senior, accepting the need for transportation services for seniors can be difficult, so it is vital to approach this issue with empathy and tact. Neuropsychologist Dr. Sanam Hafeez explains that too often, adult children lose patience with their senior parents, leading to hurtful comments that can be truly traumatic.
He recommends avoiding words such as, “You’re not allowed to drive anymore!” It is much kinder and much more effective to supply older adults with choices and engage them in brainstorming a viable alternative. A typical example of this could be, “I know it’s getting difficult to be able to see clearly now, which must make it challenging to drive. Let’s speak about some options that will enable you to go wherever you want safely.”
Together, you can then come up with an idea for the senior in your life to begin using transportation services for seniors that is agreeable to everyone. When it comes to these choices, take into account that CareWorks Health Services’ caregivers are available any moment, day or night, to provide safe transportation and accompaniment for seniors. Our services are available according to each senior’s wishes and timeframe, whether that means a regular lunch date with a buddy, medical or salon appointments, attending religious services, or simply a Sunday afternoon drive to get out of the house and relish the scenery To learn more about our home care in Seal Beach and surrounding areas, call us at (949) 859-4700.