Support Seniors Through Transitions in Aging
Types of Transitions Seniors Face
Some transitions seniors face is obvious, like an illness, hearing loss, or a medical event. However, subtler, equally difficult transitions can also come with decreasing independence.
Types of Transitions
The following are a few types of transitions:
- Loss of privacy as others are more involved in care
- Needing to ask for help getting places
- Inconveniencing others by asking for support
- Inability to participate in hobbies or activities
- Reliance on others to remember things and make decisions
- Difficulty keeping track of important information and memories
- Grief as peers move to care facilities or pass away
- Having less control over diet and schedule
- Depending on strangers if professional in-home caregiving is necessary
Top Tips for Supporting Seniors in Transition
As seniors face transitions related to aging, they may experience a variety of feelings, including grief, depression, and anxiety. Many seniors who become dependent also face feelings of guilt or failure.
How to Help Seniors through Transitions
You can help seniors through transitions by doing the following:
- Extending as much autonomy as is safe and healthy
- Including seniors in conversations about care plans and their preferences
- Easing them into the idea of having someone help them—start out with smaller tasks for short periods of time
- Provide reasons like the concern of loved ones or a desire to cover housekeeping for them
- Pointing to an authority, like a doctor’s recommendations
- Listening patiently to seniors’ concerns and preferences
Conversations about transitions through aging can be painful for seniors and their loved ones. Remind seniors that you want the best for them and that their lives are meaningful.
Driving-Related Transition Tips
Limits on driving can make seniors especially frustrated with a loss of independence. Use the following suggestions to help keep seniors safe:
- Use CarFit, an educational program for seniors to help them make safe driving decisions
- Stay up-to-date on medical tests, including eye exams
- Ask seniors about their driving concerns and challenges, offering alternatives and options to help maintain independence
Try the following strategies for starting hard conversations with seniors:
- Do your homework so you can offer encouragement and real options
- Ask questions with observations (i.e. “How’s the house? It must be hard to keep up.”)
- Offer practical help, like finding a housekeeper, to ease seniors into receiving support
- Don’t cut seniors out of conversations or decisions
Home Care Tip
As seniors begin to receive home care services, it is important to include them in the conversation. It can also be helpful and reassuring to show them portals or other tools that allow their loved ones to be involved in their care, even from afar.
These are just a few tips on helping seniors through transitions in aging. HomeSpark provides non-medical and in-home care services in Bryan/College Station. HomeSpark caregivers work in private homes and senior living communities (independent living, assisted living and memory care). Our caregivers here at HomeSpark are committed to providing the best care for your senior loved ones in the Bryan/College Station area. Contact us with the link below for more information!