Q. My father-in-law has recently lost a considerable degree of mobility and now requires help with toileting, bathing and dressing. How can we help him retain his dignity?
A. Be matter-of-fact, not condescending. Be understanding of the change in him. Be patient, as he will take longer to get things done. Allow your father-in-law to do as much as he can on his own—even if it is a small thing to you and your family, it will mean a lot to him. Give him choices so he retains some control.
Q. My mother refuses to let her care provider bathe her. Just when she begins to get comfortable with the person attending to her personal needs, the agency sends someone new and we have to start all over again! What can I do to improve the situation?
A. It is extremely difficult to have to adjust to a new person all the time! Have you spoken to the agency about your concerns? Why are they changing staff all the time? You should be able to work together to find a solution for your mother. The agency may be making the changes to try to find someone who your mother will feel comfortable with. What are your mother’s reasons for not allowing the care provider to bathe her? If you can figure that out, you may be able to find an easier way to have her bathed, so her needs are being met.
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