Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 24th 2017 Contents B2
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Health & Wellness
At the start of October, the Inter-
national Day of Older Persons was
observed globally. The day is de-
signed to focus on the elderly and
shed light on their health, care
and well-being. In Trinidad and
Tobago, the Central Statistical Of-
ice revealed that 10% of the pop-
ulation was over the age of 60.
The data was collected in 2002.
It meant that this country is con-
sidered to have an ageing popu-
Information from the Division
of Ageing, puts the elderly at 12%
of the population or 156,000 per-
sons over age 60. By 2025, it is
expected to be 17.7% of the pop-
So how do you care for the
elderly? You treat them with re-
spect, love and patience. But
many times, your ageing loved
one maybe dif icult to care for
and may not want help.
In some cases, your loved one
might be stubborn, have mental
health concerns, think it's a sign
of weakness to accept help or feel
guilty about the idea of becoming
a burden to family and friends..
He or she might also be worried
about the cost of certain types
of care. Memory loss might also
make it dif icult for your loved
one to understand why he or she
What's the best way to ap-
proach a loved one about the
need for care?
In some cases, the doctor will
start a discussion with your loved
one about his or her care needs.
If you're starting the conversa-
tion and you suspect that your
loved one will be resistant to care
- whether from family, other close
contacts or a service - consider
Determine what help is needed.
Make an honest assessment of
what kind of help your loved one
needs and which services might
Choose a time when you and
your loved one are relaxed.
This will make it easier for you
and your loved one to listen to
each other and speak your minds.
Ask about your loved one's
preferences. Does your loved one
have a preference about which
family member or what type of
service provides care?
While you might not be able
to meet all of your loved one's
wishes, it's important to take
them into consideration. If your
loved one has trouble under-
standing you, simplify your ex-
planations and the decisions you
expect him or her to make.
Enlist the help of family
Family and friends might be
able to help you persuade your
loved one to accept help.
Don't give up.
If your loved one doesn't want
to discuss the topic the irst time
you bring it up, try again later.
To encourage cooperation, you
Suggest a trial run.
Don't ask your loved one to
make a inal decision about the
kind of care he or she receives
right away. A trial run will give
a hesitant loved one a chance to
test the waters and experience
the bene its of assistance.
Describe care in a positive way.
Refer to respite care as an ac-
tivity your loved one likes. Talk
about a home care provider as a
friend. You might also call elder
care a club, or refer to your loved
one as a volunteer or helper at the
Explain your needs.
Consider asking your loved one
to accept care to make your life a
little easier. Remind your loved
one that sometimes you'll both
need to compromise on certain
Your loved one might resist
care out of concern about the
cost. If your loved one's care is
covered by Medicaid or other
funding, share that information
to help ease his or her worries.
Pick your battles
Do your best to understand
your loved one's point of view,
and focus on the big picture.
Avoid ighting with your loved
one about minor issues related to
his or her care.
Keep in mind that these strat-
egies might not be appropriate
when dealing with a loved one
who has dementia.
If your loved one continues to
resist care and is endangering
himself or herself, enlist the help
of a professional.
Your loved one might be more
willing to listen to the advice of a
doctor, lawyer or care manager
about the importance of receiv-
Resistance to care is a challenge
that many caregivers face.
By keeping your loved one in-
volved in decisions about his or
her care and explaining the ben-
e its of assistance, you might be
able to help your loved one feel
more comfortable about accept-
How to care for
Remind your loved
one that sometimes you'll
both need to compromise
on certain issues."
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