The denial factor

Many seniors are in denial about their care needs. Therefore, their families often experience anger, helplessness and guilt while helping their loved one cope with frailty, loss of function that comes with old age.

The octogenarian patient

Sreekala is a full-time chemistry lecturer. She juggles many roles and is a familial caregiver to her octogenarian mother-in-law Saraswatamma. Saraswatamma’s family dealt with anxiety on a daily basis to provide for her needs and keep her safe.

Reasons for being in denial

For Saraswatamma, seeking help involved allowing a stranger into her home and life to help her with the most intimate aspects of daily living. The thought of allowing such a stranger to influence what and when she ate, assist with personal hygiene, help her get dressed, using the bathroom, etc. must have felt disconcerting. She must have been bothered by the possibility of loss of privacy, fears about the cost of care, losing independence and having a stranger at home while the rest of the family is away at work.

When Life Circle stepped in

Before approaching Life Circle, Sreekala hired caregivers from other service providers. She was disappointed as she could not find a reliable caregiver.

VijaySri , a professional home attendant from Life Circle has been caring for Saraswatamma for two years now and has been her constant companion. VijaySri understands Saraswatamma’s needs and has settled her into a comfortable schedule.

Saraswatamma gets support, assistance and companionship during the day while the family is away at work. “It gives me peace of mind knowing that she’s safe. VijaySri is responsible, follows a schedule and gives all medications, insulin injections on time. She promptly reports any discomfort the patient experiences,” says Sreekala. As a consequence, Saraswatamma has transitioned from a non-compliant senior to someone who is fond of her caregiver.

Often, VijaySri takes Saraswatamma to a temple close by. She honours Saraswatamma’s individuality by encouraging her to do things that she likes. Sreekala values the thought and the gesture.

Sometimes, a senior loved one maybe very resistant to accepting care. Continue to persuade him or her to consider accepting professional help and do not give up. You can help the senior understand the benefits of seeking assistance by hiring a caregiver for a short period on a trial basis.

 

About the author

Madhumita
Madhumita is a familial caregiver to her mother-in-law who lives with dementia and a full-time mom of a bubbly 3-year-old. She meets and interacts with Life Circle’s clients to understand various aspects of Geriatric care and care needs with the aim of serving our clients in a better way.

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