BALTIMORE, May 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Mother's Day is right around the corner and many adults will find themselves trying their best to cope with their parents' aging; things are beginning to change and just don't feel quite right. While some changes that accompany aging are perfectly normal, others can allude to larger problems like physical illness, depression, or cognitive changes. It might be Mother's Day, but what if mom is not herself? How does one celebrate this important holiday when things don't feel the way they used to? And more importantly, when is it time to ask for help?
Senior Helpers, a national franchise providing in-home care services to seniors, worked closely with nationally renowned dementia care expert Teepa Snow to develop tips for caregivers and families to help them navigate the changes that accompany the aging process. Derived from Senior Helpers' Senior Gems® program, the tips take a positive approach to Mother's Day by helping families to focus on what their mothers can do, instead of what they can no longer do.
Early stages of aging—"Mom seems okay"
Mom has difficulty remembering conversations and learning new things. She tells the same stories and often repeats questions. She might find herself getting emotional quickly. However, Mom is not aware that she needs help, and her family may be in denial.
Recommended Mother's Day activities:
- Spend time with her doing one of her favorite things: cooking, baking, scrapbooking, or even eating at a favorite restaurant. But be prepared with a reservation or pre-order the meal because Mom is aging and may tire quickly.
- Pamper her with a spa day or a manicure close to her home.
- Attend a concert featuring her favorite music or a play she enjoys. Be aware of the noise levels and secure a comfortable seat for her.
Later stages of aging—"Mom gets lost in a moment"
Mom is easily confused and oftentimes difficult to connect with. She's more quiet and introverted than ever before and has problems with mobility.
Recommended Mother's Day activities:
- Do not view the time together as a big celebration—Mom may not understand that it is a holiday. Instead, tone it down, enjoy the moment and time together.
- Engage in a simple activity that represents something important that the two of you did together when you were younger such as listening to music or singing songs together.
- Allow her to enjoy her sense of touch by rubbing lotion on her hands, painting her fingernails and brushing her hair.
- Sit in a quiet space with her and tell stories—be sure to verbally and visually connect. Say, "I love you."
Following a program like Senior Gems will ultimately make mom happier and result in caregivers feeling less stressed. When caregivers understand what activities and conversations mom can handle and be involved in they can make more happy memories together.
"As a caregiver, it's important to get prepared and educated even before signs of aging appear in a loved one," said Peter Ross, CEO of Senior Helpers. "Having a support system in place is incredibly important and our local franchises are powerful resources in their communities for families who need help navigating these tough situations."
For more holiday ideas and preparation tips from Senior Helpers and the Senior Gems program, please visit http://www.seniorhelpers.com/pdf/Senior_Gems_Tips.pdf. To find a local Senior Helpers franchise near you, please visit http://www.seniorhelpers.com/.
About Senior Helpers:
Senior Helpers connects professional caregivers with seniors who wish to live at home as opposed to a nursing or assisted living facility. The company has nearly 300 franchises in 40 states and one in Canada offering a wide range of personal and companion care services to assist seniors living independently with a strong focus on quality of life for the client and peace of mind for their families. Senior Helpers strives to be the leading companion and personal care provider that offers dependable, consistent and affordable home care.
For more information, please visit: www.seniorhelpers.com.
SOURCE Senior Helpers