Every day is made up of big and small decisions that lead everyone to the next action or adventure in their lives. These decisions and choices are key to helping aging adults feel secure and in control of their lives.
Choices Are Essential for Aging Adults
Everyone makes choices every day. You decide what to eat, when to eat, what to wear, when to go to sleep, and a whole host of other decisions. As you make these choices, you’re asserting control over your life. The same is true for your aging adult. The choices that she makes are essential to her because they’re how she knows she still has even some control in her life.
Even if They Seem Silly
Sometimes the choices that your aging adult wants to make may seem silly or completely unimportant to you. If you write off those choices or treat them as if they’re unimportant, your senior is going to feel as if you’re treating her as if she’s unimportant. Really look at how you’re responding to even the smallest choices and see if you can tweak your responses.
Modify Choices if Necessary
In other situations, your aging adult may have cognitive difficulties that interfere with her ability to make sound decisions in most areas of her life. Some of the decisions that she still wants to make may not be safe for her to make. What you can do, however, is to continue to give her choices where you can.
For example, even with cognitive issues, your aging adult can choose between one shirt and another to wear for the day. Keep the choices simple. You can modify choices in other ways, too. For example, you might let your senior choose which days senior care providers stop by but not choose that they will help out.
Some Choices Might Require Bribery
Occasionally you might find that some of the choices your senior faces are dangerous for her to ignore or to choose wrong. Not taking certain medication, for example, or choosing to drive when that’s not safe for her to do can have disastrous results. Some of these more important choices could involve some sort of reward from you in order to ensure that you come to a compromise with them.
Caring for an aging adult means that sometimes you’ll need to give up some of the choices, too. Doing so can help show the people you love that you have respect for the choices that they make.