When elder care is a discussion your family begins having, it’s important not to overlook the rights of that elderly family member. It’s easy to get caught up in worrying about safety and security for somebody you love, especially as they get older, but they still have inherent rights.
In fact, seniors have the same rights they had throughout much of their adult life, even if they need some level of support and assistance on a regular basis. They might only need help once a week or once every other week, every day, or around-the-clock, but that doesn’t mean they surrender all of their rights.
In order to avoid overlooking the inherent rights that an elderly person has when they need some type of care, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind.
1. Always include them in all discussions about elder care.
When you’re talking about elder care, whether it’s moving to an assisted living facility, hiring an elder care aide, or seeking out a live in caregiver, you always want to include the senior in the process.
It may seem easier to discuss these things with a brother or sister, your other elderly parent, or even friends, but you aren’t the ultimate decision-maker, unless you are the senior himself or herself.
While you may very well find it easier to discuss these things with other people in your family or network of friends first, always circle around to the senior. You’ll also want to make sure you defer to their judgment and preferences rather than your own.
Yes, it’s easy to get concerned about their safety and assume you know what’s best for them, being an objective person, but are you really objective? Too often, families discourage their aging loved ones from pursuing activities they see as potentially harmful or dangerous, even though they could be completely safe, with the right elder care on hand.
2. Encourage them by informing them.
The best way to encourage somebody is by providing accurate information. When you’re talking about elder care support services, there are many options available. Don’t withhold information about some types because you are trying to push another agenda toward them.
Let’s say, for example, you think assisted living is absolutely the best option for this aging senior, but they want to remain home. Don’t neglect to talk about elder care and the various options available, including around-the-clock, live in care and somebody to support them for just a couple of hours even for a few days a week to start.
You can encourage them by informing accurately and honestly.
3. Listen to them.
This can’t be overstated enough: we don’t listen enough in our society. Our culture has become one of talking. Whether it’s about politics or elder care, sometimes the best thing you can do is be quiet and listen to what the other person has to say.
Share information, express your opinions and viewpoints, but then sit back and listen. You can actually realize what this aging senior in your life truly wants when you stop and listen more often.