Most of us don’t like to even think of growing old, let alone plan for it, and I’ve never met anyone who says gleefully, “When I get old, I want to live with strangers!”. Yet, if we’re lucky, we will indeed grow old, and there may possibly be a stranger or two to help us along someday. Someone like me, for instance. I am asked so many questions about what to do about things related to growing older that it’s hard to narrow it down for a one page article, but read on for three of the most frequently asked:
Who is a gerontologist?
A Gerontologist is a specialist in the field of aging. We focus on biological, psychological, cognitive , and sociological change experienced by the older adult. As Senior advocates, we educate and provide support and opportunity for the highest quality of life as individuals age.
How do I introduce hiring a caregiver?
Unless your parent or other loved one has mentioned having difficulty going about activities of daily living, expect some push back when you suggest hiring someone to help, especially when the person has lived alone successfully until now. If the need for a caregiver arises because the one who has been doing the informal caregiving is no longer in the picture, the subject of hiring a caregiver could be difficult because the one being cared for may not realize the extent to which he or she relied upon the unpaid caregiver, which was usually the spouse. So, when you first broach the subject of hiring a caregiver, keep in mind that while most of us are fiercely independent, virtually all of us value our privacy. Therefore, position the conversation as goal setting for independence and privacy. Lead with something like, “Mom/Dad, I’ve noticed that you’re (describe the problem/concern), and that can interfere with your well-being and ability to remain living independently. Let’s explore some ways to keep you (safe/healthy, etc.) here at home.” This is one of Those conversations like having the birds and bees talk with your kid or screwing up your courage to discuss “where this relationship is going”. It can be awkward, but if your loved one needs help, it must be done. When it’s over, you will have cleared the first, and maybe only, hurdle! The subject has been broached, and you’ve brainstormed together about daily challenges and ways to overcome them rather than told your loved one what needs/must be done.