Magazine article Work & Family Life

How Would You Solve These Elder Care Issues?

Magazine article Work & Family Life

How Would You Solve These Elder Care Issues?

Article excerpt

It's often not enough for us to simply "help" aging people or to "protect them from themselves."

Sensitivity to feelings-your own and those of the elderly person-is also essential. The following is an inventory designed to gauge your sensitivity to the needs of the elderly. Read each item and select the choice that comes closest to your natural response.

When an elderly widow complains of running short of day-to-day necessities at home, an adult child's most appropriate response would be to:

(a) Begin doing the shopping for her, (b) Encourage her to learn to do with less or to substitute less familiar foods for more familiar ones, (c) Buy a memo pad and encourage her to write a shopping list, take it to the store with her, and check off items as she buys them.

When an elderly father expresses feelings of loneliness and despair, an adult child's most appropriate response would be to:

(a) Discourage him from feeling or talking about such things, perhaps suggesting that he get a grip or stop feeling sorry for himself, (b) Ignore the comments, (c) Listen with empathy and give him the opportunity to vent.

When an elderly widow of small stature continues to climb on a stool to reach everyday kitchen items, an adult child's most appropriate response would be:

(a) Rearrange the cabinets, placing items used frequently within easy reach, (b) Scold her for taking risks, (c) Start thinking about whether she can continue to manage at home alone.

An elderly parent whose ability to cook has faded expresses a desire to contribute a dish to a family dinner celebration. …

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