Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

How to Properly Respect and Care for Your Elders

As the people you care about get older, you’ll face many challenges and questions. The situation is often more complex than it seems. You’ll want to ensure their safety and happiness, of course, but you must also respect their autonomy. Even if they are getting older, it’s not your job to take away their decision making. Finding the right balance between respect and care can be a difficult challenge. Here’s a guide to help you get that done.

Ask About Their Wants and Needs

Your elders may have put in place a plan for these important years. They may have thought about how they want to spend retirement. The most important thing you can do, if you want to truly respect them, is to ask them about their preferences. Some older people may want to stay at home. Others might have a burning desire to move. While your first duty must be to their health, you also have a duty to respect them not only as human beings, but as elders who’ve lived long enough to deserve that respect.

Take Their Health into Account

Some health conditions can be handled well at home. If a person just needs to take a few pills every day or get 30 minutes of exercise, this can probably be accomplished without much of an issue. They have need an in-home nurse to come by and check on their vitals every couple of weeks. Other people have health issues that need near-constant monitoring and support. Find out where your elders lie on this spectrum. If their problem is one that needs the help of others, consider an assisted living community.

Research Retirement Communities

One of the most important things you can do is conducting background research on the options they might choose. Visit websites, make phone calls, and even make visits if you can. Not all retirement communities are created equally, so you’ll want to make sure your elders are in a good place. If they’re into the idea of a fun retirement in Louisiana, there are options at their disposal. Retirement communities today offer recreation, fellowship, senior support, and much more.

Your elders will likely have considered just how they want to handle their final days. Your job is to help facilitate that plan while respecting the choices they make. Listen to them and provide critical support to facilitate the process. You can walk the narrow line between care and respect if you’re careful and intentional.

Tim Esterdahl

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