Treating the Elderly with Respect

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Demographics show that numbers of people over the age of 65 are increasing and maintaining dignity in later life is becoming more of a concern. Society sometimes marginalizes older people and trivializes their concerns and this needs to change. Many people are being faced with the issue of how to care for their elderly parents as they age and lose their independence. 

Listen carefully 

The elderly can teach us a great deal about handling life’s adversities and dealing with change. Many times we are too busy or dismissive and don’t always treat them with the respect and dignity they deserve. 

Even when their minds and bodies start failing them, it is important not to withdraw from them or to demean them in any way. The simple act of listening can do wonders for an elderly person. 

Elderly people may often feel that decisions are being made about their health or needs without any consultation. Listening to their concerns provides them with a measure of control over their lives that’s critical to their dignity and self-esteem. 

Spending precious time with them can give them a sense of purpose and help them to feel less lonely but it can also be beneficial to the one listening. Listening to family stories can strengthen the ties between generations.

Recent studies reveal that those with more knowledge of their family history face challenges with more emotional resilience because they have a stronger sense of where they come from and who they are. 

Help them to retain their independence 

When physical problems affect the mobility of the elderly or cognitive impairment makes processing information more difficult, they experience a loss of independence that can be very difficult. 

Staying in their own homes with the help of caregivers may be a better choice for someone than moving into an assisted living facility. It can help them to retain as much independence as possible. Tandem Careplanning gives you a choice of carefully screened caregivers who will treat with your elderly loved one with patience and respect. 

Being a caregiver for an elderly person can be physically taxing and emotionally exhausting. Being kind and showing compassion in such circumstances is very important and can be critical for ensuring comfort and well-being.  

Understand their values

Many elderly people grew up in an era when manners and courtesies were a part of daily life. They feel more comfortable when caregivers are attentive to these courtesies, such as greeting them formally, asking permission to touch their bodies, and saying please and thank you. Body language, such as making eye contact, or rising when someone enters a room, may also be regarded as important ways of showing respect. 

Even well-intentioned care providers can appear disrespectful by using denigrating word choices or disregarding their wishes. Some caregivers will call seniors by their first names, even when they haven’t been given permission to do so. They do this because they believe the familiarity makes the situation less intimidating. 

This may be true in a few cases but it can often be seen as disrespectful and may cause someone to withdraw and make further communication difficult. In general, caregivers should try to honor the wishes of a client, unless these wishes are detrimental to health. 

Aging is not an easy process and it requires understanding to be patient with the elderly and give them respect. The world today moves at a very fast pace. It is easy to forget the amount of meaning the elderly attach to having someone listen to them. When the elderly are treated with respect, they are more likely to freely discuss difficult topics and cooperate when it comes to their care.

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