For the busy caregiver, giving an aging loved one adequate privacy isn’t always at the top of the to-do list. Seniors deserve a certain amount of privacy, as giving them time to themselves communicates respect. Here are five tips for respecting an aging loved one’s privacy.
1. Make Sure Your Loved One Has a Private Room
Seniors who live with their caregivers may not get a lot of alone time. It’s important for seniors to have a space they can retreat to when they want to be alone, and caregivers should make sure their loved ones have a private space. Your loved one should have an accessible bedroom, located on the ground floor if he or she has mobility issues. When finances permit, many families choose to build add-ons for their senior loved ones, a secluded space designed with their needs in mind. Once this personal living space is established, respect your loved one’s privacy. Knock before entering, and enter the room only when invited.
Privacy isn’t always the easiest thing to achieve, and sometimes seniors need a bit of help with more personal activities. Many older adults are choosing to age in place, and some need a helping hand to continue living at home safely and comfortably. Luckily, there is professional elder care Cedar Falls seniors can trust and rely on.
2. Handle Potentially Invasive Issues with Care
As seniors age, situations arise that force caregivers to cross previously established lines of privacy. If a health issue has left your loved one unable to do his or her own finances, you may decide to take over all financial issues. This may be necessary, but try to approach the situation with care rather than wresting all financial control or scouring your loved one’s home for evidence of unpaid bills. If a new medication has made it difficult for your loved one to pay bills on time, gently suggest letting a trusted accountant take care of the bills until your loved one is feeling better. This approach solves the financial problem without disrespecting your loved one’s agency.
3. Follow a Need-to-Know Policy
If your loved one is having difficulty managing his or her finances, he or she probably doesn’t want the whole world to know. When faced with this kind of issue, only discuss it with people who need to know. You might tell the accountant now handling your loved one’s finances, but you don’t have to mention it to extended family members or your loved one’s friends from church.
4. Establish Mental Boundaries
Spatial privacy is easy to understand, even if it can be challenging to respect in practice. Mental privacy is a little more nebulous. For seniors and caregivers who live together, it’s important to maintain boundaries of communication, time, and independence. If you spend too much time together, these boundaries may start to blur. To uphold these boundaries, take frequent breaks. Spending 30 minutes apart from your loved one every afternoon may provide much-needed mental solace. You should also consider using in-home respite care.
In Cedar Falls, respite care is a great help to many families. Caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times, which puts family caregivers at risk for burnout. However, an in-home caregiver can take over your loved one’s care, allowing you the time you need to focus on your own health, maintain a full-time job, or care for other members of your family.
5. Approach Grooming Issues Respectfully
As seniors get older, they may need more assistance with tasks like bathing and using the toilet. These situations aren’t ideal for the caregiver or the senior, but when approached with sensitivity, they don’t have to be invasive. If your loved one needs assistance getting in the bath, help him or her undress and use the transfer bench. You may then choose to leave the bathroom and close the door. This approach is an effective compromise between safety and privacy.
Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Cedar Falls home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at 319-260-2222 to learn more about our customized care plans.