5 Ways to Care for a Senior without Harming Your Relationship

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Caring for an aging loved one can be an opportunity to bond and build memories, but it could also cause tension in the relationship. Caregivers and seniors must find ways to interact peacefully without overstepping boundaries and acting in rude and disrespectful ways. Continue reading to find tips for providing care for your loved one without negatively affecting your relationship. 


1. Ask for Your Loved One’s Opinions

Relying on family and friends for care doesn’t mean seniors cannot make significant decisions about their health and life in general. Family caregivers who decide what’s best for their loved ones without consulting them first could harm their relationships and cause seniors to refuse help. 

When developing a caregiving plan, ask your loved one what his or her wishes are, and always take his or her opinions seriously. Remember your parent is an adult who should be consulted when making decisions that pertain to his or her life.

One of the most important decisions you and your loved one can make together is whether and when to hire an in-home caregiver. Home care Reston experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.


2. Find a Balance

Separation is necessary for both caregivers and seniors. Being around each other continuously can harm their relationships and increase their odds of having disagreements and fallouts. 

To find a balance, you and your loved one should continue interacting with other people and make time to do things that bring you joy. The separation can give you the ability to regroup and allow you both to maintain your own identities.

Family caregivers sometimes need a break from their caregiving responsibilities. When they need respite care, Reston families can rely on professional caregivers to help their senior loved ones remain safe at home.


3. Avoid Negative Tones 

While you’re providing care for your loved one, you must treat him or her with respect. Speaking in a negative tone can appear condescending and make your loved one feel inadequate. As a result, your parent could develop animosity toward you and others. However, respecting your loved one and treating him or her with dignity could strengthen your relationship and lower the odds of arguments and an unpleasant atmosphere. It could also make caregiving easier for you and your family. 


4. Stay Positive

If your loved one is living with a condition that impacts memory and cognitive health, such as Alzheimer’s, remain empathetic and try not to take things personally. It’s common for older adults to experience problems like depression and combativeness. In these instances, your loved one may say negative things that hurt your feelings and cause tension in your relationship. 

It’s vital to remember your loved one may not be in control of his or her emotions, especially if your parent has neurological problems that impact how he or she thinks, feels, and reacts. Stay positive and keep in mind your loved one’s current mental and physical health isn’t as strong as it used to be. 


5. Respect Your Loved One’s Privacy

When caring for your parent, always put his or her safety first, but remember to respect his or her boundaries. Your relationship could be negatively impacted if you don’t respect your parent’s privacy. Announce yourself before entering your loved one’s bedroom, and always ask before going through his or her personal belongings. When you overstep, your loved one may feel like his or her space is being invaded and lash out verbally or physically. 

A home caregiver can be a welcome source of support and encouragement for both you and your loved one. Families who need help caring for senior loved ones can turn to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of Reston home care service. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more. If you need professional home care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (703) 556-8983.