SYNERGY HomeCare of Long Beach owner, Nia Garcia, leads the way in home care innovation by providing compassionate care for others and solving problems that help people their best lives.
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COVID-19 Loneliness Squad on KTTV-TV (FOX) in Los Angeles Click to View
An interview by LeAura Luciano, eversopopular.com
Whether this year’s visit is online or in-person, experts at SYNERGY HomeCare, agree that a technique called “benevolent probing” can assist adult children in determining if their parents could benefit from home care assistance in order to retain their independence.
Indeed, independence is a hallmark of both baby boomers and members of the Greatest Generation. A recent AARP survey found that 86% of those 65+ report they want to remain in their current residence for as long as possible. But most don’t understand that this desire to age in place may ultimately require a little bit of in-home care to ensure their long-term independence.
We asked Nia Garcia for her expert opinion. Garcia has years of experience in eldercare, a Masters in Gerontology from USC, and is a SYNERGY HomeCare franchisee, with her main office is in Long Beach, CA with a second office in Torrance.
According to Garcia, there are a few ways to check in on a loved one without making them feel like you are threatening their independence.
“Next time you are visiting with your loved one in person or via video, you can try benevolent probing to gain insights into your loved one’s independence.” Benevolent probing is simply a combination of observation and conversation that cover four key areas:
Are your loved ones keeping up with their appearance, (i.e., shaving, haircut, clothing, hygiene)? How is their weight? If you are on a video call, ask for a little house tour to see what’s “new.” Check to see if the home is more cluttered than usual. If you are visiting in person, check the refrigerator to get a sense of how well they are eating. Take a look at the expiration dates on the medicine bottles, too.
Inquiring about current events is a great way to test their short-term memory. Are they engaged or protective? If they are brushing you off with answers like “Yes.” “Right.” or “Hmmm.” it may be an indication of some memory loss. You can also ask what they did last weekend or see how up to date they are on other family members.
How did they move about the house on that video tour? Are they grabbing onto furniture to steady themselves? Do you notice any bruising which may indicate a recent fall? If visiting in person, go on a walk with them to see if they tire easily or seem unbalanced. In addition, understanding their driving habits may be helpful. Do they still feel comfortable driving or have they lost confidence in their skills? Look at their car for any dings or scratches.
Ask about friends they are in touch with either in person or on the phone, as well as any regular activities or recent outings. Are there activities they have stopped doing? Are there things they wish they could do but don’t have a companion or a ride? Isolation is often a gateway to depression, which can also impact memory or activities of daily living.
Unlike 20 years ago, aging in place is a greater option today than ever before. The continuum of in-home care is comprehensive. Whether a loved one needs a companion to help her stay active, more personal care such as assistance showering, or full-time support for a chronic condition, a personalized care plan is developed for each and every client to support aging in place.
Learn about the many home care options available at SYNERGYHomecare.com.