When you’re a caregiver for an aging parent, a lot of boundaries get blurred. In their focus on their parents’ health, many caregivers begin to ignore their loved ones’ natural desire for privacy. It’s important to give your parent as much privacy as possible because it can help him or her feel independent and retain a sense of self-respect. Here are a few ways to help your parent retain some dignity and privacy as you move into a caregiving role.
Ask before Invading Personal Spaces
Remember that even though you are your parent’s caregiver, he or she may not want to share everything with you. Most people expect to have privacy behind a closed door, so always knock before entering your parent’s bedroom or bathroom. You can also ask if there are any parts of the house that should be off-limits. Avoid doing things like going through journals or inspecting jewelry boxes without your parent’s permission.
Provide Cover during Exposed Moments
For many seniors, a sense of physical privacy is important for maintaining dignity, but this can be difficult when their children have to help them with dressing, bathing, and going to the bathroom. Try to be sensitive and realize this situation may be as awkward for your parent as it is for you. Many seniors prefer to keep towels or blankets draped over their laps while going to the toilet or bathing. They also appreciate caregivers stepping out of the room or looking away while they’re in exposed situations.
Taking care of sensitive issues like these can be stressful for family caregivers, and it’s important to recognize that you need to take care of yourself, too. Family caregivers sometimes need a break from their caregiving responsibilities. When they need respite care, Tucson families can rely on professional caregivers to help their senior loved ones remain safe at home.
Let Your Parent Make Independent Choices
The freedom to make decisions is an important part of having a private life. Many seniors feel like their sense of privacy is stripped from them when their children suddenly take over all the minutiae of their daily lives. Whenever possible, let your parent make independent decisions about things. Even if your loved one’s decisions seem silly or pointless to you, try to avoid dismissing them or bluntly overriding them. As long as your parent is safe and not harming anything, let him or her do things that may seem nonsensical to you without teasing or nagging.
It can be difficult to maintain the parent-child relationship you’re used to, so it may be a good idea to seek professional help when it comes to caring for your parent. When considering homecare, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits.
Be Discreet when Talking with Others about Your Parent
It might feel normal to discuss what you’re going through with friends and family members. However, sensitive seniors might not appreciate the idea of their acquaintances knowing they wear adult diapers or are no longer capable of driving. It’s important to avoid sharing details about your loved one’s condition unless he or she has explicitly given you permission. Your parent will appreciate knowing his or her private matters aren’t discussed with friends, family, or strangers.
It’s always difficult when you have to depend on others for help with private matters. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality senior home care. Tucson families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably. Call us at (520) 276-6555 to learn about our comprehensive in-home care plans.