Fears. We all have them; we all have to deal with them. But, when we are younger and have more resources, it can be easier to confront and conquer these fears. For the elderly, it is not as easy. As we age, we become less confident in our abilities to handle these challenges and begin to fear them more.
Not too mention, advanced age brings on new fears that we did not have to face in our younger years. So, as caregivers and family members, what can we do to help our loved ones with their fears?
The first, and most important, step is to listen to their concerns. Don’t speak; just listen. Often, people just want to be heard. Secondly, do not assume to know what their fears are. Don’t fall for stereotypes and think you know what they fear because “all seniors are afraid of the same things”. Treat them as an individual, not an archetype. Third, take their fear seriously. It may not be a fear that you share; it may even seem silly and trivial to you. But, if it is something they are afraid of, then it is very real to them. Finally, take action. Respond in some way that helps alleviate or lessen their fear. Sometimes, it is as simple as installing a light or calling more often.
The fears that seniors vary with each person; it is never the same. Not all seniors fear the same things. As we said, never assume. But, here is a list of the more common fears that seniors share:
Loss of Independence
This is a natural fear. As we grow to rely more on our family, both physically and financially, it is normal to worry that our decisions and choices will be made for us. Some people equate responsibility and care-taking with power. Assure your family-member that their opinion and choices matter as much as they always have. They may need help, but they are still in control.
Most of us have spent our entire lives working to save up funds for our retirement. Most seniors do not have much of an income. They subsist on their savings or help from family. For some seniors, they are frightened of what will happen if they run out of money. Help your family member set up a financial plan (remember-let them do it). It may make them feel more in control of their finances.
Many people are scared of being alone in their old age; they worry that they will have no one to talk to. The fear becomes more acute as we get older. Simply put, seniors are afraid that they will be left alone. This can be the easiest fear to help overcome. Make more of an effort to see your older family members. Be sure the rest of the family does as well. Visit and call on a regular basis. If it makes it easier, schedule regular visits so they know when you are coming. If feasible, encourage your loved one to socialize with more people so they make friends.
This is a common fear for most seniors. We address this in more detail right here.
Not Being Able To Live At Home
Home is where we are most comfortable. Many seniors fear that their diminished health will lead to the loss of that. While some older adults are happy to live in an assisted-living home, many others prefer the comfort of their own abode. But, they are apprehensive that they will have to leave if their healthcare needs become too great. Luckily, that does not always have to be the case. Home healthcare assistance is always an option. iCare Home Health Services offers the best senior home healthcare assistance in Oakville, Burlington, and the Greater Toronto Area. We offer a wide variety of services including Alzheimer care, medication management, foot care, physical activities, qualified nurse support, and even handyman service in the comfort of home. We understand the desire for your loved ones to stay safely at home without losing personal independence. iCare Home Health Services makes it a possibility. Contact us today and find out what services meet your needs.