Early Intervention is Vital

Dignity health: nurse holding elderly loved one's hand.

When your loved one is experiencing difficult adjustments in their life, the topic becomes that much harder to discuss. Change is never fun to acknowledge, so how do we go about fulfilling their needs? It all comes down to recognizing early warning signs that may require modifications while maintaining health and dignity.

Often times, the one who needs the most help is the first to deny it. When our lifestyle becomes impossible without another’s reliance, denial swiftly peers around the corner. “I don’t need a chair in the shower!” or “I can use the bathroom myself!” may sound all-too familiar to some. Think about a time where you may have been carrying a large object and tried grabbing a door handle. If someone offers you help, you might feel as though you are wasting their time. However, their small contribution could have saved you a large amount of effort.

Making subtle changes around the home without being asked can alleviate a lot of these worries. Maybe having a grab bar means the difference between using the bathroom alone versus needing someone else to help. Making the shower walk-in friendly can allow that loved one to have the confidence knowing they can enter and exit at their leisure, rather than accommodating someone’s schedule for helping get in and out.

Give the Gift of Consideration

Dignity health: A winding staircase may be difficult to navigate for some.

Many of the small things we do every day are taken for granted. Raise your hand if you always think about how you’re going to navigate the stairs. No, right? To a large majority, walking up and down stairs becomes second nature. From the perspective of a patient with mobility issues who struggles to keep their balance, using a staircase becomes nearly impossible. When you have to dwell on mundane tasks in your own home, living becomes more like a chore. Now take this same situation, but with a new railing installed. Now this person can grab onto a stable surface to maintain balance and continues to live on independently.

Another option that exists is sending your family member into a home care facility. Admitting a loved one into a residence is a life-changing decision that may impact you (or already has) at some point in time. Determining if this is the right move may be easy for some, but for us, we feel it’s easiest and more fulfilling to love your home for life whenever possible. Remember all the work and sacrifices your parents (or other caregivers) made when raising you. It’s the circle of life, and the time has come for the child to decide what care is right for the parent.

Dignity health: Elder embracing their adult childWe want to reiterate the importance of maintaining dignity constantly while other areas of life begin changing for those who need help. Always hope for the best, but you need to be able to offer help to someone who won’t ask for it. Making subtle changes now means a more positive transition in the future.

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