Nobody likes being grilled about their life, and that can be doubly true for a senior trying to age in place. But as a concerned family caregiver, you might need to gently dig deeper into her life to find out whether she needs some extra help.
How Does Gentle Questioning Work?
When you use gentle questioning with your senior, you’re tiptoeing into topics that have been difficult for you and your elderly family member to talk about in the past. This is especially helpful if she’s determined to age in place and doesn’t want to burden anyone with her needs. But if you’re going to properly help her, you need to know what’s happening, which is why you need to use a gentle approach.
Asking about ADLs
ADLs are activities of daily living. Put another way, these are tasks like making and eating food, getting dressed, bathing, and keeping her home clean. Your senior might find these activities more difficult, and that she can have help to manage. But before you send in-home care professionals in to help, you need to know what she needs help managing. Video calls can help with this, especially spontaneous ones. Ask about meals your senior has had, for example, and share small details like when you’ve been too tired to cook.
Probing for Memory Loss
If your elderly family member is experiencing memory loss, it’s important to know sooner rather than later. Try asking simple questions about activities that you know your senior was planning to engage in a few days prior. For most people with memory loss, recent memory is more of a problem than long-term memories. Asking about events from long ago won’t help you determine what’s going on.
Determining More about Mobility
When your elderly family member has difficulty with mobility, she may decide to stop moving at all. This can fast-track her descent into even worse mobility problems. Talk to your elderly family member about whether it’s difficult to get around. If she has an injury that you’re aware of, even an old one, ask how it’s impacting her ability to be mobile. It can also be good to ask how often your senior leaves the house. If she’s not driving much anymore, home care providers can help her with transportation needs.
If your elderly family member isn’t around many people these days, she may find she is experiencing loneliness or even feelings of isolation. Asking her gently about who she sees and talks to can help you determine if you want to take the added precaution of hiring in-home care providers for companionship. This is an excellent way to help your senior socialize more. But also get answers for some of your other concerns.
It’s never easy to fully know all that is going on with your elderly family member. This is especially true if you live too far away to simply drop in. That’s why having a way to gently find out what’s happening is so helpful.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring In-Home Care in Auburn, CA, talk to the caring staff at Partners in Care today. Serving El Dorado, Nevada, Yuba, Sutter, Sacramento, Placer, Butte, Glenn, Yolo, & Colusa Counties!
Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! (530) 268-7423