When you make the commitment to be a caregiver for an aging loved one, you are not just making a commitment to make sure they are fed, clean, and in a safe environment. Being a family care provider for a senior adult is about providing a high quality of life and encouraging productivity, physical and emotional health, activity, and happiness. One way that this happens is by educating yourself and preparing your aging loved one for what they may encounter in the coming years.
It is a common misconception that both the young and the elderly are not capable of handling difficult, uncomfortable, confusing, or painful topics. Many think it is better to hide these things from their loved ones in order to “protect” them or keeping them from coping with unpleasant emotions. Unfortunately, these good intentions can have very serious consequences. If your aging loved one does not feel as though he understands what is going on he may become frightened, distrustful, and confused. It is better that you become as informed as you can and then share this information with you aging loved one in a way that he will understand so that he continues to feel in control of his own life.
If you are concerned about talking with your aging loved one about his medical concerns, contact the elder care services agency in your area to discuss bringing your loved one to a counselor. This counselor will help you to approach the senior adult in a way that is both confident and comforting. It can be easier for an aging adult to absorb information from an unbiased person. You may find that your loved one is resistant to listening to you about his health, and may even feel that you are overdramatizing or are being meddlesome about the issues. Having a counselor speak with him, however, will show that it is not you being obsessive or over emotional about the situation. He will likely be more willing to listen to the counselor, and the counselor will be able to phrase the information in such a way that your loved one is able to understand it and use it effectively.
It is important to note that keeping your aging loved one informed does not necessarily mean telling him absolutely everything that is going on. There may be times when you need to select the information that you will share if there is a concern that your loved one will respond very negatively, or if there is simply nothing that can be done and your loved one will not need to change his lifestyle in anyway. Speak with his physician and a geriatric psychologist for recommendations as to how your loved one should be approached.
For more information about caregivers in St. Louis, MO contact Senior Services Unlimited. We are an elder care agency providing affordable and respectful home care to couples, veterans, and the disabled. call (314) 646-8131