Saturday, January 9, 2010

Mistreatment of the Elderly by omission.

Do not ignore the changes you see when you visit your mom or dad. You cannot brush things off when you sense something is not right. As loved ones age they change. The changes are subtle and most are a normal part of the aging process and need only your support. For instance, reading glasses. But when you notice weight lost, the need for a cane or walker, falling, dizziness, bruises, skin tears, wearing dirty clothes, dirty hair, poor housekeeping, piles of unopened mail, losing interest in hobbies, the need for assisted living and not taking their medications.

When you see any of the above mentioned start asking questions and investigate. Remember the changes were subtle so they might not be aware of what is happening or they may be in denial but still ask questions. If your aging loved one has a spouse beware that they will cover for them so take note, which could be going on.

The role of the adult child changes as parents’ age and require assistance. The changing role of the adult child is a natural progression. The adult child becomes the parent in a lot of ways. Prepare yourself; there are a lot of good resources available for the caregiver. Be proactive by getting siblings involved. This is the best time to discuss with your aging parent what their wishes are. This can be a good time to build a different kind of relationship or maybe repair any not so good relationship. Doing nothing is mistreatment by omission of the elderly.

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We are an assisted living facility on the Olympic Peninsula close to the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area. Our intention is to serve the community of the aged and aging and those who care for them. As an assisted living facility, we know the questions and concerns that attend an aging loved one. Regardless of your choice of care, we would like to make ourselves, our facility, and our network of shared interest available to all who participate in the world of assisting the elderly.

After all, we all will one day face aging.

At Haven in Allyn we believe the spirit doesn't change just because we lose the capability of our physical body. We choose to honor the spirit as the true state of the person and service the physical needs accordingly. We celebrate each life...aging is only a natural culmination to, hopefully, a life well lived.

So, our hope with this blog is to share experiences and the wisdom gained through working with our residents, caregivers, and families and to encourage you, the readers, to participate with your own experiences, too.

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