Understanding Your Loved One’s Needs

No matter their age, everyone has goals. In the same way, everyone on Earth has needs—things they sometimes cannot live without, such as food or water, or even something like affection, as everyone wants to feel like they are meaningful to someone. However, as people get older, sometimes it becomes difficult for them to meet their needs on their own and they require assistance from others. Coupled with the hindrance of cognitive decline, it can sometimes be difficult for them to fully articulate what they need when they need it.

That’s why it is important for us as family members and friends of elderly persons to be aware and strive to understand the needs of our loved ones. However, sometimes, because of our own jobs or family obligations, we may not be able to provide the kind of constant care that they may need, and that’s where a home-care provider can be handy. Before we call someone else in, we need to find out exactly what type of care our loved one needs, how much they need, and when they need it.

Does a loved one needs help with day-to-day activities, such as cleaning, cooking, bathing, etc, or do they need help with more healthcare oriented service, like giving medications, changing dressings on wounds, or other medically-related jobs? In the care of a loved one, it’s important to discuss the issues and potential solutions with any and all family members involved so everyone can be on the same page. We may even consult with family physicians, hospitals or therapists in the area. 

After determining our loved one’s particular needs, we can begin to research care providers and home health agencies, but we could also hire someone on our own. Before you do that, you should definitely seek advice from social workers, co-workers, healthcare professionals and the like for recommendations and help in determining what would be best for your loved one. It’s not an easy task to leave the care of someone important to us in the hands of a stranger, so that’s why it’s important to get as much information as possible before making a decision.

If you are in a position like the one described above, please know it’s not an easy decision. You need to first determine the type of needs your loved one has, and then figure out how to handle the situation. As a family, are you able to provide enough assistance on your own, or do you need a bit of help in certain areas? The ultimate goal is the safety and security of your loved one and peace of mind for yourselves in knowing you made the right decision. When you’ve done that, it’s easier for everyone involved.