Most of all – Be Patient

Your aging adult has had a full life, so don’t treat them like children. Sometimes they might act as a child but it is usually their disease or pain that is making them act that way. Allow them some independence, make sure they are safe and, above all, be patient.

Depression in the elderly should be treated. Talk to their doctor and get the best plan to get them out of their depressive state. This can include medication, exercise and socialization. It might take a while to find the right medication, so – be patient.

Your loved one has lost their independence – at least the way it used to be – so, be patient – and give them as much as they can handle.

Stiff joints, sore muscles, etc. can make the adult resistant to exercise but get them to do something. Whether it is a little walk, or a senior exercise class, for their joints and their brains, they have to do something to get them out of the chair and their house or bedroom. It is also important that they have interaction with other people on a regular basis. There are Community Centers, Senior Centers and Adult Day Care Centers to help with this.

Not all seniors have a hearing problem, and if they do, assume they can hear you when you are talking about them. Don’t talk as if they are in another room and can’t hear you. After all, it is their life you are talking about. Include them in the conversation as much as possible.

And last but not the least – take care of yourself. If you don’t take care of yourself, then you can’t take care of anyone else. Give yourself a day or night off by utilizing the Adult Day Care Center or other options for respite care. The Veterans Association has a program available and there are many Care Management Associations around to call for help. Care Giving is, or should be, a team effort for the benefit of the aging adult.

Contact the Area Agency on Aging for suggestions and help at 814-723-3763 or 1-800 281-6545.

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