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Is It Time to Intervene?


When it comes to your elderly parents or spouse, you want to keep them safe. So how do you know exactly when it’s time to intervene? No one wants to be challenged regarding their abilities or independence. You wouldn’t either. You want to keep your loved ones safe, but you also want to respect their independence and pride. How do you know when it’s time to step in without stepping on toes, or worse, damaging a relationship between you and your loved one?

When it comes to making decisions, the mental and cognitive abilities of your loved one should always be taken into consideration first. In most cases, a cognitive or mentally competent spouse will make the decision about any interventions, and adult children’s jobs are basically to support and nurture. However, there are times when you’re caring for a parent or even two, and you have to come to the realization that mom or dad may need more help than you alone can provide. Then the decision becomes a consideration of safety and health over convenience.

OptimumCare Home Care Services realizes that it’s a difficult decision to make. We realize that our duty is to protect our parents, although that does not supersede their independence or their right to make their own decisions. Just like residents in nursing homes have the right to accept or deny treatment, medications, or supervision, or food, so do your parents or your loved one.

When determining whether it’s time to intervene, it’s important to assess risks. How serious are the risks that mom or dad will injure themselves or live in a situation that may be detrimental to health? Is there some way that you can reduce such risks? Focus on the needs of your parent more than yourself; ask yourself what your parent might need and want and try to understand through or her eyes. Whenever possible, discuss the risks and benefits of hiring additional help around the house from the home health care agency you choose. For example, does mom know that if she falls and breaks a hip that such could be fatal or create a long term disability? Does she realize the benefits of companionship and socialization and activity?

You’ll worry about your parents because that’s natural, but it’s important not to push your parent. Remember whose life it is. As a home health care agency, our focus is on maintaining independence and mobility for our clients, and in most cases, you and your parent will know when it’s time for a little additional help.

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caregiver assisting senior woman to walk