5 Ways Family Caregivers Can Help Senior Parents with Dignity

By , 9:00 am on

Aging adults often feel anxious about being dependent on others, especially when it involves personal hygiene and other sensitive matters. If you’re caring for an older loved one, it’s essential to preserve his or her dignity. By using the following tips, you can help your parent feel respected, confident, and comfortable.

1. Knock before Entering

Whether your parent is in the bathroom or his or her bedroom, always knock first and wait for him or her to answer before you open the door. Knocking before you enter shows respect, and it’s one of the most simple yet effective ways to prevent the loss of dignity your loved one may feel if he or she perceives his or her privacy has been invaded. 

2. Provide Choices

Many aging adults have difficulty adjusting to the loss of independence they experience when they need to rely on others. Even though your parent may need assistance with preparing meals, bathing, and performing other everyday tasks, giving him or her as many choices as possible can help him or her feel a greater sense of control over his or her life. For instance, ask your loved one which clothes he or she wants to wear instead of choosing his or her outfit every day. Being able to make these kinds of basic choices can help aging adults feel as though they still have a voice in how they live their everyday lives.

Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality elder care. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.

3. Give Your Parent Privacy in the Bathroom when Possible

Seniors who are able to use the bathroom independently should be allowed to do so with as much privacy as possible. If your loved one needs help to get up from the toilet, stand off to the side until he or she needs your assistance. If your parent doesn’t need your immediate help, stay close by in another room. You can find ways to respect your loved one’s privacy while making sure he or she remains safe from falling or hurting him or herself in the bathroom. 

Every senior has different needs when aging in place. Some simply need occasional assistance with household chores, while others may be managing serious illnesses and require more extensive live-in care. Kingwood seniors can count on Home Care Assistance to provide the in-home care they need and deserve. 

4. Talk about Personal Concerns

Aging adults who need assistance with daily tasks should feel comfortable talking about any worries or concerns they may have. If your parent is unhappy or upset about something, he or she should be encouraged to talk about these concerns and share his or her feelings about the care he or she is receiving. You may not be aware your loved one is feeling uncomfortable or experiencing a loss of dignity, and he or she might be reluctant to broach the topic with you. Make sure your loved one knows he or she can talk with you about anything, and keep an eye out for subtle nonverbal clues that something might be bothering him or her.

5. Include Your Parent in Conversations

When you’re discussing your loved one with another person, such as a caregiver or doctor, make sure to include your loved one in the conversation. Don’t speak as if your parent isn’t in the room, and give him or her the opportunity to talk so he or she doesn’t feel helpless or ignored. Encouraging seniors to speak on their own behalf with doctors and caregivers can help them feel more in control and less vulnerable. 

Feeling a loss of dignity affects quality of life for seniors. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Kingwood in-home care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping. Call us at 832-412-1345 to learn more about how our experienced in-home caregivers can benefit your loved one.