When you’re getting your footing in a caregiving situation, there’s a lot that you’re balancing. One thing you want to remember is to keep your elderly family member as involved in the caregiving process as you possibly can. That’s going to provide benefits both to you and to your senior.
Ask Her What She Wants
One of the first conversations that you and your senior need to have is about what she wants to happen in the near future and down the line. If you both haven’t talked about this in the past, it’s definitely a conversation that you need to have now. Listen carefully to what she’s telling you, especially if what you’re hearing is different from what you expected to hear.
Give Her Choices When it’s Possible
Your senior may worry that she’s going to lose all of her independence now that she needs a little more help. Even if you are by necessity making lots of choices for your elderly family member, there are still choices that she can make. Those choices may be as small as cereal or eggs for breakfast, but they’re still important choices that empower her when she makes them.
Map out a Plan Based on the Information You’ve Got
You’ve got a variety of ways to gather information about your senior’s situation and needs, ranging from talking to her to meeting her doctor and learning about her health issues. When you’ve got enough information, you can start putting a plan together. One of the decisions you might be making could involve bringing in extra help. Elder care providers can make the caregiving process easier for both you and your senior, and they offer respite help, too.
It’s Not Going to Get Resolved All at Once
Something to remember is that you’re not going to be able to solve everything all in one sitting. This is something that you and your elderly family member are going to revisit together, especially as her health or other aspects of her situation change. As you gain more experience and knowledge, you’ll be able to solve problems much more quickly as they arise.
Try to always remember what you would want to happen for you if you were in your senior’s shoes. That sometimes helps when you’re making tough decisions in terms of caregiving. It can also help you to remember to give her a chance to participate.