Caregiver Tips: Empowering Your Seniors to Make Their Own Health Decisions

Caregiver in Guelph

When you take on the role of being a family caregiver for your aging loved ones you are not making the decision to take over their lives completely. In fact, encouraging your parents to continue Caregiver-in-Guelphexerting as much independence and autonomy as possible throughout their aging years helps to support stronger mental and emotional health and keep your parents more active and high-functioning as they age in place. One of the ways that you can do this in a way that is highly impactful is through empowering your seniors to make their own health decisions.

Making health decisions is an extremely personal activity but something that many seniors defer to their family caregivers because they feel that they are not able to make them on their own. Seniors who are coping with physical, mobility, medical, or cognitive limitations and challenges may feel like these issues make it so that they are not able to evaluate their health needs properly and make the decisions that are right for them. While some seniors are not capable of fully understanding the implications of their decisions or making choices that are truly appropriate for them, most have the capacity to at least exert their feelings and contribute to the decision-making process.

By empowering your parents to make their own health decisions you are showing them respect, preserving their dignity, and allowing them to maintain a higher degree of self-esteem and confidence no matter what type of medical conditions they are facing.


Use these tips to help you empower your parents to make their own health decisions:

• Open the lines of communication. If your parents do not feel like they can be comfortable discussing issues with you, they are not going to feel comfortable working with you to make health decisions. Open the lines of communication by discussing everyday issues with them on a regular basis, and introducing health-related topics regularly. Help them to know that you are there to listen to them and that you want them to feel comfortable talking with you. This will put them at ease so that they are prepared when the time comes to discuss sensitive situations.

• Talk about their feelings. Make discussing health issues a regular part of your care approach. Talk about how they feel about different issues, their thoughts on treatments and end-of-life interventions, and other health issues. This can help you to get an idea about their opinions and feelings regarding their health for now and in the future so that when the time comes to make important health-related decisions, you can remind them of the things you talked about in the past and guide them to make their decisions confidently.

• Help them to understand. Seniors come from a time when the idea of questioning a doctor was simply unheard of. They were taught to respect doctors and what they had to say no matter what. Let your parents know that this is not the case and that they have the right to ask as many questions as they want to in order to understand the medical issues that they are facing so that they can make empowered, confident decisions. If they are uncomfortable with this, step in to ask questions for them. Be their advocate and do your part in guiding them through the decision-making process.

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in Guelph, contact the caring professionals at Staff Relief Health Care 24/7 at 905.709.1767.


About Susan Di Michele

We have a team of dedicated healthcare professionals. We strongly believe in improving health and wellness of individuals, their families, and communities. Through nurturance, gentleness and compassion, our team strives to shine a light on what it takes to be role models of caring practice.
Our mission is to support a society in which respect for the rights and dignity of people is a practical reality in all areas of life, where discrimination is a thing of the past, and where a positive view of ill and aging people prevails. We strive to ensure that every individual is informed, supported and encouraged to embrace a lifestyle that has continued meaning, purpose and value. Together these actions genuinely empower and respect individuals’ abilities to make independent choices based on their personal interests, capacities and needs.
The most important of all is “CARE”. We care about the people we serve. Our focus is to treat everyone with respect and dignity they deserve. Our vision is to provide excellence in health care for all those we serve.

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