The Art of Balancing Providing Help with Maintaining Independence for Seniors

Help preserve a senior’s sense of purpose by allowing him or her some independence

“Here, I can help you with that.”

“Be careful!”

“You can just sit here and rest; I’ll handle that.”

How often have we said things along the lines of these to seniors, with the best intentions of course? We want to do everything we can when caring for older adults to ensure they are safe and to take care of them in the same way they took care of us when we were younger. Yet, there’s a concealed threat in trying to do too much for seniors and depriving them of the opportunity to do as much as possible for themselves – the danger of harming independence for seniors and a sense of meaning and purpose in life.

Take, for instance, an older gentleman who devoted his entire life to providing for his family, and just recently has been diagnosed with the initial stages of dementia. Given that he has always identified himself as a provider, becoming reliant on someone else to provide for him can be really tough and even feel demeaning. It’s crucial to help him uphold the sense of being needed by others, and there are a variety of tactics to achieve just that. Try these tips from Endeavor In-Home Care, the top providers of senior home care in Chandler, AZ and the surrounding areas:

  • Obtain guidance. Being granted the opportunity to share insight and wisdom is a great boost to an older adult’s self-esteem, and there is definitely a lot we can learn from older adults. Come up with little ways through the day to ask the older person’s guidance on how to make a perfect batch of biscuits, how to stop the draft from coming in under the back door, how to soothe a cranky baby, etc.
  • Seek hands-on support. As in-home caregivers, it’s our responsibility to support older individuals with assorted needs, but we also understand the value of allowing seniors the opportunity to perform helpful responsibilities too. It doesn’t have to be a massive task to maintain the sense of being needed. Be aware of the senior’s cognitive and physical limitations, and request his/her help appropriately. For example, a senior who is in a wheelchair can sit at the table and help with cooking and baking related tasks, polish silverware, or sort nuts and bolts in a toolbox.
  • Vocally show your respect. While you may presume the older person knows how you feel, it’s a wonderful feeling to be told how much we mean to one another. Take time to mention particular ways the senior has aided you in some manner and how much you appreciate that help, from learning to drive a car, to parenting techniques, to the ability to draw or paint or carve wood. Be honest in your compliments, and say them frequently, from your heart.

A skilled in-home caregiver, such as those at Endeavor In-Home Care, is proficient in sustaining the delicate balance between caring for older adults and boosting their sense of purpose and meaning. Contact us to learn more about our home care services, find out if our services are available in your area, or to request a complimentary in-home evaluation for your senior loved one.

How Personalized Activities for Seniors Increase Quality of Life

Call on Endeavor for personalized care & customized activities for a senior loved one in your life.

Is a senior loved one participating in activities on a regular basis, or is she stuck in a rut that commonly is comprised of watching television, eating, and sleeping? Particularly during this time of quarantining and isolation, it can be challenging to maintain an active and involved way of living – but it’s vitally important for the health and quality of life of older adults. Read more

alzheimers care mesa az

6 Trusted COVID-19 Resources for Seniors and Their Caregivers

Being aware of where to turn with regard to the latest, most reliable information on COVID-19, particularly as it pertains to older adults and family members who take care of them, is crucial – and can be puzzling. With many resources and differing viewpoints on this earth-shattering situation, we wanted to help make it simpler to locate what you need by building the following list of reliable resources for seniors and their caregivers. Read more

Senior Care in Paradise Valley AZ: Cheer Up the Lonely

Participate in National Cheer Up the Lonely Day

Millions of seniors in the United States are aging in their homes without a spouse or family member living with them. While there are financial advantages to this type of arrangement, one of the biggest drawbacks is the increased isolation that many elderly adults feel. For National Cheer Up the Lonely Day (July 11), it’s an excellent opportunity for communities and individuals to look at the senior population and figure out ways to make them a little less lonely.

 

Senior Loneliness is Serious

Social interactions certainly decrease with age for a variety of reasons. Among the most common are moving from their established neighborhood, retirement, death of spouse and friends, long-distance family members, health obstacles and lack of mobility. With so many challenges, it’s no wonder that millions of elderly adults who live at home are chronically lonely.

Studies show that loneliness has a serious impact on an elderly person’s physical and mental health. Isolation can lead to depression, poor hygiene, poor cognitive performance, high blood pressure, injuries and accidents, slower recovery, more long-term illnesses, and even increase the risk of mortality. While National Cheer Up the Lonely Day is a powerful motivation to reach out to a lonely person, isolated elderly adults need more attention throughout the year.

 

How to Reduce Senior Isolation

There are many ways that family caregivers can reduce loneliness in elderly adults beyond spending time with them on a regular basis. Many people hire elder care providers to allow trained professionals to come in and interact with the elderly person. The elder care providers can manage housekeeping, laundry, shopping, meal preparation and much more. They are also excellent companions and can spend time with the elderly person doing hobbies, watching movies and even driving them to events. Hiring an elder care provider is one of the top ways for seniors to avoid loneliness.

Another thing seniors can do to avoid isolation is to get out more into the community. However, if transportation and mobility are issues, they will need help from family caregivers and elder care providers. Family members can keep an eye out for volunteer opportunities for aging adults in their schools or cities. Almost every volunteer organizations need volunteers, especially elderly adults. Some of the most popular are reading to school children, answering phones, helping with paperwork and greeting visitors. Any activity that promotes socialization can have positive effects on a senior’s physical and mental health.

 

Let National Cheer Up the Lonely Day Inspire Action

National Cheer Up the Lonely Day can shine a spotlight onto the chronic issue of elderly isolation and chronic loneliness. It is truly a society-wide problem that affects elderly adults and their family caregivers. There’s no better time to act to counter the serious effects that long-term loneliness can have on an aging adult’s physical and mental health.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Senior Care in Paradise Valley, AZ, please contact the caring staff at Endeavor Home Care today. Call  (480) 535-6800.

Healthy Senior Man in GYM

Exercise—The Secret Parkinson’s Disease Treatment

Healthy Senior Man in GYMThe results of remaining physically active throughout the aging process are considerable. However, for people with Parkinson’s, it could truly be a game-changer in the progression of the disease. Several recent studies are uncovering direct links between exercise and Parkinson’s, such as the largest clinical study up to now, in which patients who exercised a minimum of 2½ hours weekly obtained a higher quality of life than those who refrained from physical exercise—and that’s only the beginning when it comes to exercise as a Parkinson’s disease treatment. Read more

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Dividing Caregiver Costs Without Causing Family Uproar

Mature women talkingDo you recall how challenging it could be when you were young to learn the lesson of sharing with your brothers and sisters? While the incredible importance of taking into consideration other people’s feelings, and also being fair, was impressed upon us early on, it may still be a challenging goal to minimize sibling squabbles regarding complicated decisions we struggle with in adulthood – such as how to fairly divide caregiver costs and requirements for our aging parents. Read more

elderly care mesa

Senior Driving Safety: When Is It Time to Give Up the Car Keys?

Discussing an Elderly Parent's Ability to Drive a CarIt is among the more difficult decisions we face in older years, and an extremely delicate subject for adult children to initiate with their elder parents: relinquishing the car keys. Driving ourselves, while supplying an inherent experience of freedom and independence, may become extremely unsafe due to a number of variables linked to getting older. And letting go of that independence for sake of senior driving safety can feel defeating. Read more

senior healthcare

Tips to Make Senior Healthcare More Personalized

In an ideal world, medical care would revolve around you and your own preferences, following your specific needs and wishes – fitting into your itinerary and routine, unhindered by issues such as an unwavering health care provider who sees health care options in black and white. Reality is far from perfect though, and the majority of us often tend to submit to doctors’ orders with no concept that there may be a better-suited alternative, especially when it comes to senior healthcare.

With some education, however, patients can, believe it or not, take a more proactive stance for their healthcare. Known as “person-centered care,” it involves physicians working together with patients and any other members of the family or care providers they determine, taking into consideration the patient’s preferences, values and goals, and using that information as a guide throughout all facets of care.

There are many handy steps we can all take to reach a more individualized level of care:

  • Think through your healthcare goals, and write this information down to discuss with your medical doctors. And, ask that medical personnel integrate these goals into your health records.
  • Become well-informed in your medical conditions and needs, and ways in which they’re having an effect on your everyday life. For instance, are you suffering from challenges with any sort of routine activities of daily living, like taking showers or dressing? Are you struggling with certain types of movements, like lifting or bending? A good assessment tool is available here.
  • Be sure that discussions with medical professionals are two-sided. Fully engage in a dialogue to make sure your concerns are addressed and that you are aware of any potential complications or any other risks of treatment recommendations.
  • If you have multiple physicians (for example, a primary care doctor and one or more specialists in a variety of practices), confirm that communication is happening among all. This could include requesting that documentation be shared between providers, and then following up to ensure that’s been carried out.
  • Involve a trusted member of the family, friend, or professional in-home caregiver, such as Endeavor Home Care provides, in all healthcare appointments. Having someone around to jot down notes, answers to questions, and any other relevant information helps make sure that nothing falls through the cracks.

To get more tips, and for a partner in care to help ensure older adults and their loved ones have a voice in their healthcare needs, contact Endeavor Home Care, Arizona’s best home care agency. We can provide accompanied transportation to treatments and appointments, pick up prescription medications and run other errands, prepare healthy meals, and so much more for your senior loved ones in the Scottsdale and Phoenix areas. Call us at (480) 535-6800 for assistance.

Taking Care of Parents

When Taking Care of Parents Turns into a Battle of Wills

Taking Care of ParentsIt is an amazing feeling to know that you are protected, safe and cared for. Dads and moms thrive on making certain their kids are surrounded in the comfort of understanding their needs will be fulfilled, providing the safety net that permits them the self-confidence to explore the world around them. Yet there comes a point in all children’s lives when the craving for self-sufficiency is more compelling than the benefit of protection, and they have to discover firsthand what it means to stumble, fall and get back up again independently.

These types of protective instincts quite often trigger once again for adult children who find themselves taking care of parents as they age. We wish to help them to reduce risks, to ensure they are safe from harm. Yet at the same time, it’s all too easy to fall into a pattern of overprotectiveness if we’re not always careful, which can result in feelings of bitterness as well as resentment on the part of the senior parents.

According to professor of human development and family studies at Pennsylvania State University Steven Zarit, “One of the scariest things to people as they age is that they don’t feel in control anymore. So if you tell your dad not to go out and shovel snow, you assume that he’ll listen. It’s the sensible thing. But his response will be to go out and shovel away … It’s a way of holding on to a life that seems to be slipping back.”

A recent study investigated the impact of stubbornness in older adults’ relationships with their adult children. While the seniors were less inclined to rate themselves as appearing stubborn, their younger loved ones more regularly noted stubbornness as an issue. The key for adult children is in knowing their parents’ reason for digging in their heels to hold onto their freedom and autonomy, and to avoid arguing and generating an attitude of defensiveness. Clear, open and truthful communication among both sides can go far towards smoothing the waters and making sure that each individual is heard and understood.

So what is the easiest method for taking care of parents without seeking to control them? A healthy dosage of patience, respect and empathy will go a long way. Positioning yourself within the senior’s shoes and knowing the importance of self-sufficiency allows adult children to step back, instead of stepping in. Allow the additional time an older adult needs to finish a task, rather than doing it for the person. Continue to look for opportunities to show the older person you appreciate his or her suggestions and recommendations. For additional suggestions about offering care that doesn’t cross the line, contact the San Diego home care experts at Endeavor Home Care by calling (480) 535-6800. And see our full California and Arizona service area here.

Alzheimer's Memory Loss

How to Cope with Alzheimer’s Memory Loss and a Desire to “Go Home”

“Home sweet home,” the saying goes; but if you are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s who is experiencing memory loss and insists home is somewhere other than where he or she is currently living, what do you do? When you are providing care for a loved one with dementia, unfortunately this discussion can be a common occurrence. And the bewilderment and sorrowful yearning being conveyed are nothing less than heartbreaking – and, if we’re truthful, annoying.

At Endeavor Home Care, our professionally instructed San Diego dementia care team helps families control difficult events such as this, and we recommend trying the following to help restore peace to an upset loved one with dementia:

  • Instead of rationalizing, help the senior feel validated. Reasoning or arguing with a senior with dementia can actually increase frustration and unrest. Even if the older person is in the same home she’s resided in for the past 20 years, within her thoughts, “home” could represent the enjoyment she felt in her childhood home together with her parents. Her sentiments of loss are quite real, and should be acknowledged.
  • Provide reassurance. Maintain a calm, soothing tone of voice and body language and take a seat next to the person, providing consolation through a hug, hand-holding, or maybe lightly touching the person’s arm, if these kinds of actions are accepted.
  • Next, redirect. Once you’ve provided a soothing presence and affirmed the person’s views, redirection to some pleasurable, entertaining activity will be helpful. Taking a walk outdoors or in a different part of the house, playing favorite music, or checking out photograph collections are just a couple of suggestions; consider the particular person and incorporate the things that work best for her.

For further suggestions about helping restore peace to a troubled loved one with memory loss resulting from Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia, contact Endeavor Home Care at (480) 535-6800. We can help keep seniors safe, enrich socialization, and present them with opportunities to strengthen both cognitive and physical wellbeing through services such as:

  • Patient, sensitive assistance with personal care responsibilities such as bathing and dressing
  • Participating in conversations and reminiscing about the past
  • Helping the senior to participate in physician-approved exercises
  • Playing board games, cards or games on a tablet device with the senior
  • Planning and making nutritious meals
  • Running errands such as picking up groceries and medications
  • Providing transport to health care appointments and other outings
  • And so much more

Whether just a few hours each week of respite care for primary family caregivers are necessary, or full-time, seamless, around-the-clock caregiving is wanted, we’re always ready to partner with you to deliver the highest quality dementia care. Contact Endeavor’s San Diego dementia care experts to find out more and to arrange for a free in-home assessment.