Extending Your Independence
Dianne Boazman, LCSW, CMC and Betty Landreaux, LCSW, CMC, NCG, Home Care Solutions, New Orleans LIVING WELL Magazine
People are now enjoying life longer than ever before, but no one ever said getting older is easy. Since living longer doesn’t necessarily mean living independently, families face challenges in addressing the needs of aging loved ones.
Most seniors want to remain in their home and stay as independent as possible; and there are positive emotional benefits to remaining in familiar surroundings. Adapting to health and lifestyle changes is often less stressful in the comforts of home, as well.
But there are the times when a little extra help is needed. Have you noticed your father’s house isn’t as neat as usual? Is your great-aunt not “dressing” like herself? Or maybe your grandmother is not accepting your invitations to lunch anymore? These are all signs that maybe a loved one’s daily routine is more than he or she can handle.
“Older people generally hide their vulnerabilities, fearing that helpers will curb their independence. In reality, the sooner they get help and make their homes safe, the longer they can retain their independence,” writes Gail Sheehy in her recent book Passages in Caregiving: Turning Chaos into Confidence.
Incorporating part or full-time caregivers can make staying at home a safe, realistic option. Non-medical home care services can be tailored to each individual according to needs and budget. Examples of caregiver services may include:
- Assistance with bathing, dressing and personal care
- Supervision, socialization and companionship
- Help with walking, toileting and getting in and out of bed
- Alzheimer and dementia care
- Assistance with transportation and errands
- Light meal preparation
- Light housekeeping and laundry
From a few hours a day to just a few hours a week, having the extra help can help restore confidence and extend their independence.
Dianne Boazman, LCSW, CMC and Betty Landreaux, LCSW, CMC, NCG are professional geriatric care mangers and owners of Home Care Solutions, offering non-medical home care and geriatric care management services. They can be reached at 504-828-0900 or visit www.HomeCareNewOrleans.com.