Actions that May be Hurting a Loved One’s Independence

By Annette Bratcher, 8:00 am on

Caring for an aging family member can be tricky at times, especially when the senior can do more for him or herself and will not. This can be frustrating for the caregiver and it is not all that uncommon. However, there are times when the caregiver may unknowingly be to blame for their loved one’s increased dependence on others.

As a leading provider of home care Denton County families trust, we wanted to share some of the most common things done by family caregivers that inhibit the independence of the loved one under their care. Recognizing these situations and adjusting care habits can help a loved one regain their sense of independence, self-esteem and in some cases, dignity.

  • Rushing the Senior – Caregivers are often quick to say that they do not rush their loved ones, but there are several indirect ways that their actions may suggest otherwise. For example, you may not tell mom or dad to hurry up, but will finish sentences for them. Sometimes, you may find yourself completing tasks that your loved one is in the middle of doing, even when help isn’t asked for. While these seem like friendly gestures, your loved one may be inclined to do less as a result.
  • Offering Too Much Praise – Praise can be a wonderful motivating factor for the elderly, but too much may be detrimental and will have an opposite effect. Your loved one may feel as though they are being treated like a child if they are praised for each act they perform without assistance. Oftentimes, seniors will not acknowledge the extra praise for fear of hurting their caregiver’s feelings or out of embarrassment. Praising the senior is a good thing, however, the caregiver should just make sure that they are not overdoing it.
  • Limiting Involvement – The adult child may think they are doing mom or dad a favor and decreasing stress by taking over general responsibilities but this could not be farther from the truth. Limiting their involvement by making decisions for your loved one can hurt their self-esteem and squelch acts of independence. Taking the time to get their input about all decisions to help promote independence.

Want to learn more about promoting independence for your aging loved one? Reach out to Home Care Assistance and ask about our professional and compassionate Denton County caregivers. Trained in how to assist seniors while promoting independence, they are a great option for seniors who need a bit of assistance at home, and are a resource for families who may be overwhelmed by their caregiving responsibilities.

Request a free in-home consultation today by calling 972-468-6010. Our Care Managers are available 24/7 to answer questions and can further discuss your loved one’s individual care needs.