Changes in your loved one’s life mean that she’s not always able to do the same things that she’s always done. How you respond can help her to still feel empowered.
Make it a Point to Really Listen to Your Loved One
Some elderly loved ones are more likely to drop hints about when they need more help than they are to tell you directly. Start making it a habit to stop what you’re doing and really listen to your loved one. You might be able to pick up on hints that you didn’t notice when you were multitasking.
Ask Your Loved One What Will Help the Most
When you identify a need, ask your loved one what she feels will be most helpful to her. You may find a better solution for her in the long run, but she’ll feel heard if you’re taking her opinions into consideration. Many loved ones feel powerless when they’re ignored.
Find Alternatives to Your Loved One Doing Things Herself
Your loved one may feel compelled to try doing some tasks herself, even if she knows that she shouldn’t. The more that you can find alternatives for her, the less likely she’ll be to try to force the issue. For example, bring in home care providers to handle light housework for her. Then it’s done and she doesn’t have to even make an attempt.
Ask for Help from Other Family Members
Other family members may be able to help your loved one more than you think they can. Once you have a list collected, you can start divvying up the tasks according to who can and will help out. Always ask because the worst that anyone can say is “no,” and that’s not a forever no necessarily.
Keep a Running List in a Way that Works for Your Loved One
Especially if your loved one is living on her own, you’re not necessarily going to know everything that needs done for her. Figure out a plan for your loved one to keep you up to date. This might be a dry erase board on the wall in the kitchen, an email she sends to you, or just a list on a notepad on the kitchen counter.
In the end, what’s important is that you’re able to get your loved one the help that she needs and wants, when it’s most vital for her.
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