A Guide to Preserving an Aging Parent’s Dignity

helping elders
Photo: Kampus Production / Pexels

Everyone, regardless of their age or medical condition, has a right to be treated with respect and dignity. Unfortunately, mobility issues can prevent seniors from performing everyday tasks with ease, which will reduce their independence and confidence while affecting their pride.

Unfortunately, you cannot slow down the aging process, but you can take steps to protect your mom or dad’s privacy and respect. To ensure you do so, read this helpful guide to preserving an aging parent’s dignity.

Alter Their Bathroom

Moving from A to B in a bathroom might be increasingly difficult for an aging parent. If your mom or dad struggles to stand when using the toilet or finds it difficult to step in and out of the bath, it might be time to alter their bathroom to help retain their independence and dignity.

Create a more mobility-friendly environment by browsing the disabled bathrooms available, which are ideal for seniors with impaired mobility, those in a wheelchair, or a person living with a disability or injury. For instance, you could install a water-tight walk-in bath, a mobility-friendly toilet, or a curbless shower.

Encourage Hobbies and Interests

Poor mobility, impaired vision, or chronic health conditions could drain a loved one of joy and self-worth. As a parent might rely on you to complete various tasks, such as grocery shopping or cleaning, they might feel stripped of their pride and dignity. Yet, pursuing hobbies and interests will provide your mom or dad with a sense of achievement while giving them a reason to step out of bed each morning. For example, you could encourage a parent to read books, write, paint, or play music.

Protect Their Privacy

You can help a parent without invading their privacy. For instance, if a loved one needs help when using the bathroom, you can cover their modesty to show respect and protect their dignity. Whatever the situation, you must attempt to minimize any sense of intrusion they might feel to maintain their pride. Simple actions can make a difference to a senior’s dignity, such as knocking on the door before entering a room.

Ask Your Parent’s Opinion

You might believe you know best when helping an aging parent in the home. However, giving them a lack of choice may make them feel disrespected and damage their self-worth. For this reason, you must involve your mom and dad in any decision-making, from the clothing they wear to the food they want to eat. Giving options will make a senior feel more in control of their daily life, which is why you mustn’t make choices for them.

Request Permission

Never make assumptions when caring for an aging parent. Always ask permission before completing any act, from cleaning their home to helping them get dressed. It shows you are eager to help but want to protect their dignity. It will make your mom or dad feel more like a human and not a burden, so ask permission to be respectful and compassionate. It’s a small act that will make a big difference to their pride.

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