If you’re tasked with caring for an elderly loved one that can no longer take care of themselves anymore, you might find that, despite your love and concern for this person, showing the proper respect for them could be hard in this situation.
If this is something that you’re struggling with as a caregiver, here are three ways you can show respect when caring for an elderly loved one.
Allow Them To Make As Many Decisions As Possible
For many elderly people, their ability to take care of themselves physically starts to falter before their mental faculties do. In this case, your loved one might feel embarrassed by the help that they are needing.
One way you can help them retain some dignity and show them respect is to allow them to make as many decisions as possible. Whether it’s a decision about what clothes to wear that morning, when to be given a bath, or what type of medical decisions they are comfortable with, if you’re able to give them more of a say into what path their life goes down and then make good on their decisions and wishes, this can be a great way for you to show them respect.
Don’t Intentionally Bring Them Down
As a caregiver, it’s easy to get stuck in the routines of the service that you’re rendering. But when this happens, you might begin seeing your elderly loved one as a chore you need to complete rather than a person. And when this way of thinking starts, it’s easy to accidentally say or do something that is disrespectful to them.
To keep this from happening while you’re caregiving, try to be very careful about saying or doing things that could bring them down. If they are experiencing dementia, bring yourself into their reality rather than trying to bring them into yours. And if there are sensitive things that need to be discussed, make sure these conversations take place privately.
Show Respect To Other Offering Care As Well
Because caring for someone else can be a very big job, you might need to entrust some of this care to someone else.
Whether it’s the staff at an assisted living facility or another friend or family member, one way you can show your elderly loved one respect is by respecting others who give them care. By doing this small act, you’ll be showing your elderly loved one that you appreciate those who help to care for them and that the act of caring for them is something to be valued.
If you’re worried about maintaining a level of respect as you care for an elderly loved one, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you in doing this.