Senior Care Issues: Taking Stock of Changing TimesDecember 3, 2015
Senior Care in Bronx, NY
They were once the leaders in industry, heads of the household, powers in their own right, or the ones upon whom all depended. And now they find themselves dependent on others. This can be hard on them, and it can also be a difficult transition for those providing elder care to loved ones.
The most important thing to remember is that even when it is difficult, communication is the key to any successful relationship. Recognizing that a parent or beloved elder is reaching the stage where they need help is not usually an overnight step, rather, it is an ongoing process that can take weeks and months to identify.
Especially if the elder is used to being independent, what becomes the new “normal” may not seem to them to be in fact a problem, even if it is clear to the rest of the family that things are not right. But the process can be difficult, and even contentious if it is perceived that the caregiver is “overstepping” so don’t be afraid to involve professionals to help.
Taking the time to get to know a parent’s doctors and friends, going to doctor visits with them, and even participating in social events with them can give valuable insight to how they are doing. Being willing to let them drive is a great way to be able to evaluate if they are truly retaining their driving skills. After all, it is likely that many years ago they had to show patience and kindness as they taught their children to drive. Perhaps it is time to repay the favor.
Depending on their mental or physical challenges, there may be little clues that identify whether their independent living skills are being maintained. Make sure they are taking care of themselves and their environment. This does not mean that they have to keep the house immaculate all the time- but they should be accustomed to a certain standard of living and care and if they are not able to maintain it, it may be time to seek some assistance.
Remember they have some pride and dignity and work with them to find the best solution for them that allows them to be as safe, secure, and independent as they can while maintaining their comfort. Getting help is not a sign of weakness or disability, rather, it should be seen as a way to help them keep their independence for as long as possible.
Patricia started her nursing career 19 years ago at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and research institution in New York City, and since then has gained experience in Adult Intensive Care Units (ICU) , Pediatric Care (PICU ), Operating Room (OR) , mental health and community settings. She later moved into director of nursing roles, where she obtained extensive experience in leading and developing the nursing profession. She also pioneered good partnership working with other health care organizations, as well as social services, and the wider community.