The roles get reversed when you live with an older family member; if you live with an older family member now, you are experiencing it firsthand. They need you to take care of them and be there for them more than ever. It can be difficult for your loved ones to accept this as they were once caring for you when you were younger, now you are responsible for them.
Mentally and emotionally, it can be hard for them to get used to that loss of independence. As much as your loved one needs you to support them, it is essential to find ways to ensure they are given the privacy they need. You might be the caregiver but respecting the privacy of an older family member is still essential despite their age and any disability that they may be experiencing.
Establish Mental Boundaries
Although physical privacy is easy to understand and establish, mental privacy is a bit more unclear. For this reason, it is vital to uphold boundaries of communication and independence. If you spend a lot of time with your elder loved one, those boundaries may become more challenging to maintain. To maintain mental boundaries:
- Take frequent breaks—Losing your patience will only lead to more frustration, so permit yourself the time to step away as frequently as possible.
- Consider using in-home respite care—Caring for an elderly loved one can be overwhelming, and it puts you at risk of physical and emotional exhaustion. Hiring an in-home caregiver can help you immensely. They can take over many daily responsibilities, which would give you time to take a much-needed break.
A Private Room is Critical
Sharing a room can be challenging for your parent once they get to a later stage of their life. They need their privacy as much as you do. Although constant care may be a necessity for some, please try to give them privacy whenever possible.
Older family members will like alone time as much as the next person. They should have an accessible bedroom, preferably on the ground floor, especially if they have mobility issues. According to nextstopmoversraleigh.com, many families build add-ons for their elderly loved ones when they decide to move in.
Whatever your home arrangement is, ensure you are respecting the privacy of your loved one when the personal living space is organized. This is not always easy to achieve, as seniors may need help with more intimate activities. Still, make sure to knock before entering their room—for instance.
Approach Grooming Issues Respectfully
Your elderly loved ones may need assistance with tasks like bathing and using the toilet. These situations can be uncomfortable for both parties. Still, they don’t have to be invasive if approached with compassion. If they need assistance getting in the bath, help them undress and use the transfer bench. If they are safe, you may leave the bathroom and close the door. This can be a good compromise between safety and privacy. It will give your loved one a sense of independence and some control over their daily activities.
Approach grooming issues of your elderly loved one respectfully.
Use Assistive Devices
Older family members may find comfort in performing some personal activities with privacy. A great help would be for them to use assistive devices that enhance their safety. These devices may include:
- Shower handles
- Bath seats
- Chair lift assists
You can also help your loved one by minimizing discomfort and preparing everything before assisting them. Provide a cover-up for bathing and stay close by without engaging unless completely necessary.
Encourage Your Loved One to Be Independent
Naturally, your priority is to keep your elderly family member safe. You must maintain your daily activities and some sense of normalcy as their caretaker and caregiver. However, some older people would love to have care around the clock—even though it is unnecessary. Therefore, encourage your loved one to take advantage of alone time and be independent.
Keep in mind that losing control of their health for many seniors could cause depression and the need for isolation. Encouraging independence is a way to honor their privacy. Doing so will allow your parent to maintain some control over their life and privacy. You can help your loved one with daily living activities but let them perform tasks independently without going too far.
Involve Your Elderly Loved One in Decisions
It goes without saying that your loved one should always be involved in decisions about their life. It is a good idea to ask for their opinion before moving forward with any appointments or medical decisions unless they have a cognitive issue and you have a medical power of attorney. Even then, make them seem to be involved as opposed to dictating.
Your loved one may have preferences about the person who provides them with professional home care. They may also prefer to do certain parts of their daily routines independently. Giving them choices shows respect, and they may be more likely to agree with things if they feel like they are in control.
Finding Quality Professional In-Home Care
Whether you need full or part-time help with caregiving - or just respite care - at some point, your loved one will require professional in-home care services. Professionals will do a better job as caregivers, and you can concentrate on being a family member instead of a caregiver. Plus, professionals will reduce the amount of physical and emotional stress, which will improve your physical and mental health.
Start by reading our two guides -
Providing the proper early care will provide a better quality of life and reduce the risk of a severe decline and need for facility care. The cost of long-term health care services is not cheap, and these costs are rising sharply due to increasing demand and higher labor costs.
The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator will show you the current and future cost of services where you live - Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News.
If your parent or family member has Long-Term Care Insurance, the policy will pay toward the cost of in-home care. Don't delay in using available benefits.
If you need help in starting the process of a Long-Term Care Insurance claim, LTC NEWS can help.
LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation to help you or a loved one complete the claims process with a Long-Term Care Insurance policy. We have teamed up with Amada Senior Care, who will do all the work, free with no obligation.
If your loved one does not own a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, you can still get help in finding quality caregivers and developing a plan of care - Click here: Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News.
Use a Calm Tone During Difficult Discussions
Many conflicts can arise when taking care of an elderly loved one. You may disagree on many things, making it easy to lose patience. When disagreements happen, try to avoid raising your voice and escalating the situation. For instance, if your loved one has dementia, avoid arguing over problems they will not understand. Although it may be difficult, practice using a calm tone. Doing so will also prevent conflicts from getting out of hand.
Encourage Hobbies and Interests
It is vital to help your elderly loved one engage in the hobbies and activities that they love. Even if they have physical limitations, they can always participate in some activities. Keeping the body moving will make them more content. In addition to that, engaging the mind will keep them more active and entertained.
Maintaining hobbies and personal interests is vital for your elderly loved one.
A person may no longer be physically capable of kneeling in an outdoor garden. However, they can still water and care for indoor plants. Helping them engage in a light physical activity approved by their doctor is necessary to help them feel like they are still doing what is significant to them.
You may also encourage less demanding activities such as card games with the grandchildren or board games. If they are physically unable to see their friends, consider organizing phone calls or Skype sessions that will immensely raise their spirits. Respecting the privacy of an older family member goes beyond recognizing their need for alone time.
About the Author
Jane Stinson is a relocation specialist who has worked with many seniors over the years. Having seen how hard some of them have taken it, she has decided to start blogging about helping seniors, and younger generations, move to their new homes. Jane aims to make the whole experience more comfortable. In her free time, she enjoys reading and gardening.
Contributor since March 26th, 2021
Thinking about long-term health care should happen before you get older and before a loved one requires help with daily living activities. A family conversation about older family members' future need for long-term care will make it easier for everyone. Plus, it allows for their input - assuming they have not already purchased a Long-Term Care Insurance policy. Even if they own a policy, understanding their preferences for care is essential.
LTC NEWS can help find caregivers, develop a plan of care, and even help process an insurance claim - just click here.
The ideal time to plan for your future declining health and aging is when you are younger and healthier. Most people obtain Long-Term Care Insurance in their 50s.
LTC Insurance gives you the tax-free benefits to pay for your choice of quality care, including in-home care. You can safeguard income and assets and reduce the stress and anxiety otherwise placed on loved ones.
There are a variety of insurance options to consider.
LTC NEWS Offers Many Tools and Resources
You can find many tools and resources on LTC NEWS to assist you in your research for a planning solution or help your family find the appropriate care for a loved one at the time of crisis.
To help you plan the costs and burdens of changing health and aging, LTC NEWS has put in place several resources, including:
- The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator will show you the current and future cost of long-term health care services where you live. Plus, each state has vital state-specific information you should know - Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News
- The Ultimate Long-Term Care Guide is an outstanding read to help you get a good overview of the topic area.
- Compare the major insurance companies that offer Long-Term Care Insurance products here - Top Insurers for Long-Term Care Insurance | LTC News.
- A detailed tax guide that includes available tax incentives can be found by reviewing the Long-Term Care Tax Benefits Guide.
Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.
Seek Professional Guidance
Insurance rates are regulated, so no insurance agent, agency, or financial advisor can give you special deals. However, insurance companies' premiums vary over 100% for the same coverage.
Experts suggest using a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you navigate the many options available to you and your family.
A specialist who works with the top companies can match your age, health, family history, and other factors and find you the best coverage at the best value. A specialist will save you money, and you will have peace of mind knowing they are making the appropriate recommendations - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.
Benefits of Reverse Mortgages
Today's reverse mortgages for those aged 62 and older could be an ideal resource to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance policy OR even provide money to pay for care if you, or a loved one, already needs help and assistance.
Some people have much of their savings invested in their homes. With today's reverse mortgages, you can find ways to fund care solutions, care itself, even help with cash flow during your retirement.
Learn more by asking questions to an expert. LTC NEWS columnist and host of the TV Show "62 Who Knew" will answer your questions regarding caregiving, aging, health, retirement planning, long-term care, and reverse mortgages.
- Just "Ask Mike." - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.
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