With your help, your parent is receiving the gift of being able to live independently in her home.
She is most likely very grateful for this gift and has seen that perhaps friends and family have not been able to enjoy the same independence. Because of that, many elderly parents are afraid to share some health concerns with their caregivers or senior care providers. They fear that perhaps something they are struggling with may have serious consequences when addressed. And while, yes, many of these health concerns can have serious causes, they can often have very treatable causes that you can help your parent overcome while maintaining her independence.
Memory loss causes anxiety in many seniors because it is often linked to Alzheimer’s Disease which can mean a person needing 24/7 care to keep her safe and healthy. Because of that, your parent may be concerned about sharing with you her memory struggles. She may try to bluff her way around a question you ask about regarding when she last took her medication, or she may ignore you completely. Memory loss is natural in most instances and in others, it can be related to medication or possible thyroid issues, both of which can be easily addressed.
Depression still has a stigma that you should just be able to get over it, to shake it off. This stigma causes many older individuals to not talk about feeling depressed. If you or your senior care provider have noticed symptoms that seem to be linked to depression, such as a lost desire to participate in activities that your parent used to enjoy, talk to your parent about seeking help now so that she can get back on the path of good mental health.
This is another one of those “taboo” topics that many people have a hard time talking about. Instead of seeking help, many seniors will just start restricting their outside activities and continue to try to cover up the problem in the home by doing laundry more frequently or wearing pads. Yet often, a quick check with a doctor can find an easy treatment for many older adults.
If your parent was taking care of herself before you became her caregiver, you might want to go back and review the reasons for any of the medications she is now taking. It’s possible that she no longer needs a current medication or that there might be other options instead of medication (such as talk therapy instead of a medication for depression). Many older adults don’t like to talk about the medications they take, which can cause negative interactions, weigh heavy on their budget, or even cause dependence on something not needed.
Your parent may not be sharing with you about constant and acute pains because she doesn’t want to be a bother. Or maybe she thinks it’s just something she has to live with. But any recurring pain should be brought up with her physician to determine the cause of the pain as well as to develop a good strategy to help your parent manage her pain.
Your parent has a great resource on her team – you! As a caregiver, continue to remind your parent that you’re here to help her through all aspects of her life so that she can continue to live at home independently.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care Services in Tempe, AZ, or anywhere in the East Valley, please contact the caring staff at Legacy Home Care.
Call (480) 777-0070
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