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The Subtle Art Of Respecting The Privacy Of Seniors

If you live with an aging parent, you likely have your hands full a good portion of the time. Providing care is both an honour and a hardship. This goes for both parties involved. Surely, you love Mom and/or Dad, but you can’t always get privacy when you’re constantly being depended on. The reverse is also true. The senior in your home, who requires your care, needs privacy too. So what do to?

Make sure the senior in your home has a room of his/her own.

There is simply no easier way to offer an elderly person some well-needed privacy than to set up a bedroom all for him/her. Most seniors who are fortunate enough to age in place have their own rooms. However, it’s important to ensure that such rooms are equipped with everything an older adult needs. Alone time is important. And giving your elderly loved one alone time involves his/her ability to have easy access to necessary mobility devices.

“Your loved one should have an accessible bedroom, located on the ground floor if he or she has mobility issues,” stresses Jessica Fairbanks of Home Care Assistance in Cedar Falls, Iowa, “When finances permit, many families choose to build add-ons for their senior loved ones, a secluded space designed with their needs in mind. Once this personal living space is established, respect your loved one’s privacy.”

Teach your elderly loved one smart mobile device practices.

Most seniors aren’t particularly tech-savvy. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, there’s also nothing wrong with giving your aging parent some well-needed advice when it comes to protecting the privacy of their mobile devices. Does the senior in your home use a smartphone or a tablet? Does he/she know how to set up and use a strong password? Give some tips on how to keep such information private.

“Lock your devices, like your tablet and phone,” instructs the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) in an online article offering privacy tips for older adults, “You lock the front door to your house, and you should do the same with your devices. Use strong passphrases or passcodes to lock your tablet and phone. Securing your devices keeps prying eyes out and can help protect your information in case your devices are lost or stolen.”

Be respectful when it comes to grooming concerns.

Not every senior is going to manage his/her personal hygiene with perfection. In some cases, your aging parent may forget to bathe or even brush his/her teeth. Keep in mind that such scenarios increase with the onset of dementia. Give your elderly loved one the space he/she needs in the bathroom. Only make it a point to enter and help out if he/she is having noticeable difficulty.

“As seniors get older, they may need more assistance with tasks like bathing and using the toilet,” notes Fairbanks, “These situations aren’t ideal for the caregiver or the senior, but when approached with sensitivity, they don’t have to be invasive. If your loved one needs assistance getting in the bath, help him or her undress and use the transfer bench. You may then choose to leave the bathroom and close the door.”

Would some bathroom modifications make it easier for your elderly loved one to get the privacy he/she needs? The LifeCare Mobility Solutions would love to help with that! Please don’t hesitate to call us at 416-267-9800 or email us at info@lifecaremobility.ca. You may also contact us by filling out the form on our Contact page!

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