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Promoting Self-Worth and Independence in Seniors

Learn tips to help promote independence in seniors.

“Hold on – let me help.”

“Don’t over-exert yourself!”

“You just sit down and rest; I’ll take care of that.”

How often have we said things such as these to seniors without thinking?  We want to do anything possible to assist our older loved ones, to ensure their safety and to look after them in the same way they took care of us when we were children. However, there’s a hidden hazard in trying to do too much for older adults and denying them the opportunity to do as much as possible on their own – the danger of damaging senior self-esteem and sense of meaning and purpose in life.

Take, for instance, a senior gentleman who spent his entire life taking care of his family, and now has entered into the early stage of Alzheimer’s disease. Given that he has always self-identified as a provider, becoming dependent on another person to provide for him can be quite challenging and even feel demeaning. It’s critical to help him preserve the sense of being needed by others, and there are a number of ways to achieve this. Try these guidelines from New Horizons In-Home Care to help promote self-worth and independence in seniors:

  • Obtain guidance. Being provided with the opportunity to share knowledge and wisdom is a great boost to a senior’s self-esteem, and there is certainly a lot we can learn from older adults. Think of small ways throughout the day to ask the older person’s advice on how to make a perfect pan of lump-free gravy, how to fix the draft coming in underneath the windowsill, how to soothe a cranky baby, etc.
  • Find hands-on assistance. As in-home caregivers, it is our responsibility to support seniors with assorted needs, but we also recognize the value of allowing seniors their own tasks and responsibilities. It doesn’t need to be a monumental project in order to maintain the feeling of being needed. Be aware of the senior’s cognitive and physical limitations, and request his/her help accordingly. For instance, a senior who is in a wheelchair can sit at the table and help with meal preparation tasks, polish silverware, or sort hardware in a toolbox.
  • Verbally demonstrate your respect. While you may assume the senior knows how you feel, it’s a wonderful feeling to be told how much we mean to one another. Take time to point out specific ways the older individual has assisted you in some manner and how much you appreciate that help, from learning to drive a car, to parenting techniques, to the ability to draw or paint or carve wood. Be truthful in your compliments, and speak them frequently, from your heart.

A qualified in-home caregiver, such as those at New Horizons In-Home Care, is adept in sustaining the delicate balance between supplying care for older individuals and boosting their sense of purpose and meaning. Contact us to learn more about our senior care in Eugene and the surrounding areas, or to schedule a free in-home consultation for your senior loved one.

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Customer Reviews

New Horizons In-Home Care

Customer Testimonials

J. M. May 4, 2020

Eugene, Or Client
The people I've worked with have been so straightforward and honest. They really care about how it's going. The caregiver is very understanding, knowledgeable. He can see ahead and makes some suggestions. I can leave if I need without the least bit of worry. He is really proactive, I know he cares and trust him impeccably.

Pamela V. April 9, 2020

Eugene, Or Client
I like how nice the caregivers are. The office staff is prompt on getting somebody out here when it is needed and the caregivers make me feel better than what I am. They are willing to do anything I ask of them.

Barbara W. February 2, 2020

Corvallis, Or Client
We are happy to have them because they do well. They come when they are supposed to and do what they are supposed to. They do things that we didn't know we needed. They assess the situation well and plan for the right care. They are very dependable and thorough and are very friendly and helpful. We're very satisfied.

Candice S. April 1, 2020

Salem, Or Client
They are very helpful and on time with things. They do what they say they are going to do. They will talk to me and help me when needed. I don't have to wait forever to pick up my calls and they are quick to get back to me. It has been positive.

Sharon R. April 01, 2020

Salem, Or Client
The caregivers will do anything that we ask of them. They have been very convenient. and are able to be here and do things for us that we cannot do.

O.H. February 14, 2020

Eugene, Or Client
The caregiver they sent me is awesome. People in the office staff are friendly and they know what they are talking about. The case manager, is a wonderful person and she knows her job. If I need something, all I have to do is call them.

Mary B. April 01, 2020

Eugene, Or Client
It has taken a great load off of our shoulders, especially mine. It has helped my health as well and gives my husband some social time. They are really good at scheduling around our schedule and are matched very well to his needs. We always recommend them to others who need care.

Denise B. March 02, 2020

Salem, Or Client
My caregiver is wonderful. I wish I could have more time. They do so much for me that I can't do for myself. They spend a few minutes to talk with me and be social. They are very open, caring, patient, outgoing, understanding, and kind people. If I need help with anything they will always help me. They are so helpful. I don't know what I'd do without their services.

Gail P. February 13, 2020

Florence Or,
The office staff found the right person for us. They check in regularly. What we need is someone who could do the cleaning and we have that. I like the fact that they have provided the kind of assistance that we needed. The caregiver we have is excellent.

Barbara N. February 12, 2020

Eugene, Or Client
They are courteous, respectful, and serve good food, and do everything we ask. They did all of their duties and everything was done in a timely manner. They were very helpful.
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