Choice is often overlooked as a way to let family members have some control back in their lives. As she grows older and her life changes, your elderly family member may see her options reducing faster than she ever thought possible. One way around that is to find new ways to offer choices.
The Power of Choice Is Huge
When your elderly family member has more choices, that’s massive for her. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of decisions each day, but if you thought about having someone else making all those choices for you, you’d quickly realize how important some of them are. It’s the same for your senior. Just because she may not be in a position to be able to make all of the choices anymore, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to make any of them.
You Might Be Making More of Your Senior’s Choices than You Think
It’s entirely possible that you’ve taken over a lot more of your elderly family member’s choices than you realize. It’s easy to do that when you’re a family caregiver, especially if your senior has experienced cognitive changes that have affected her ability to make some decisions. But are you making all of her choices? It might be a good idea to pay closer attention to what decisions you’re making and whether that’s necessary.
Your Senior Has a Lot of Room for Choosing
There’s more room for choice in your senior’s life than you might think there is. Even when your elderly family member is facing situations in which making big decisions is not a good idea, she can still make some daily choices. What this means is making a conscious effort to offer her choices in as many ways as possible. That can be as simple as offering a choice between oatmeal and toast for breakfast. These don’t have to be big choices to make a difference.
Give Choice a Try
The best thing you can do for your senior is to give choices a try. This doesn’t mean that everything has to be about choices at first, either. When you’re testing this out, try just a few different scenarios, and don’t overwhelm your senior with choices. Give her two options and go with the one she picks, even if it’s different from what you would have chosen. If you start doing this, you might notice that life feels a little different for you and for your senior.
Choices can feel complicated to you at first. It might help to watch how other people offer choices to your senior. Working with home care providers can be a great way to get used to seeing your seniors have some more options. You might just find you have additional options, too.