Elderly Understand Their Limitations
When you speak with your elderly parents, listen for hints.
In many cases, our elders have a great understanding of their limitations. They know what they can, and can not, accomplish. However, they may not be open, honest, and blunt about their limitations. So, seniors will make up excuses for their actions. This may take the form of a subtle change in behavior to compensate for their functional loss. For example…a mother who always enjoyed cooking is now increasingly relying on frozen dinners. Yes, they can be prepared quickly and easily. But in years past she never would have eaten anything but a home cooked meal.
Watch what they do, and listen. Try to carefully, and objectively, observe their abilities and behaviors. Elders may articulate a very real worry, or an understanding of their capabilities on certain tasks that we may dismiss. For instance, the risks associated with bathing in a stand-up shower. Or, slipping on ice. This loss of balance may be simply due to dizziness. But, more likely, an understanding of loss of balance functioning. This is a very real fear. Not so difficult for those healthy and strong. But for a senior, simply walking from the front door to the car can be hazardous, and the cause of great anxiety. I have an elderly female client whose legs simply collapsed as she walked, and the fall resulted in her breaking both her nose and elbow. Such seemingly simple tasks are not so easy for many seniors.
Granted, pockets of denial also exist. The oft-quoted phrase in my business is…”I’ve never met a senior who needs help.” The mind is sending one message, but the body may very well have something different to say. At Home Care Partners, our focus is to keep our clients safe, secure, and comfortable. Our philosophy is to encourage seniors to continue to function independently, while providing the care and assistance required in daily activities.
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John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions.
Phone: (781) 378-2164