HomeHealthTips for Balancing Support and Respect When Nursing the Elderly in Assisted...

Tips for Balancing Support and Respect When Nursing the Elderly in Assisted Living

Assisted living programs usually include a 24/7 licensed nursing staff to manage various medical conditions of the elderly, including wound care, insulin-dependent diabetes, or ostomies. These nurses deal with different older adults, some of whom may be difficult to handle. This requires them to find a balance between support and respect to maintain professionalism and provide care. Sometimes an intended sympathy may come across incorrectly and even annoy the senior receiving care. Here are a few ways that care individuals get the balance right:


If you’re handling an elderly person who can communicate, the best thing is to keep them in the loop. Tell them why you’re doing what you want to do and how it will benefit them. Communication has to stay professional and respectful, which will help the individual feel at ease, but it’s not an invite for their input. Sometimes seniors might feel right or uncomfortable. Let the senior know that it’s perfectly welcome to speak when uncomfortable about something. In many cases, inviting their suggestions produces useful care solutions nurses wouldn’t have considered.


If you’re working in renowned senior homes like Riverview Retirement Community, you’ll be working with seniors that need different levels of care, from independent living to assisted care. You need to have the ability to understand the feelings of each person and find a way to relate with them. It’s simply a way to remember that you’re dealing with humans who value their privacy and personal space. This way, you’ll know when a senior needs space and find a better way to handle it, whether you’re providing intimate personal care or administering medication. This can help them stay independent longer.


Other than being older, every person has a different personality, culture, or background and different issues. If you fail to take the personality differences into account, you may fail to find a balance between care and respect. You must be cautious about how you clean the house, their health, how you touch the seniors, the food you provide, religious needs, and more. Do not make assumptions about topics like culture, religion, or diet. Combine communication with understanding and clarify to the senior that you’re ready to listen to what they need and how they want to be handled.

Maintaining Control

The right balance isn’t easy to find when caring for seniors. The best way to handle it is to let them stay in control. If you’re dealing with seniors who can make decisions about their lives, understand their decisions and talk with them to find a way that helps them better. Do this to even the seniors that need assisted living or memory care, such as those suffering from dementia or stroke. Explain complex actions in simple ways so that the seniors can understand and be part of the process. Do not take away from the decisions about daily living activities such as the food they want to eat, how they want to move around, or the clothes they want to wear.


If you find a balance of respect and care with adults, you’ll build a relationship with them, and sometimes they’ll easily forgive small mistakes. Older adults will know when you’re handling them with care and respect, and they’ll always return it in words and actions. They may sometimes be difficult to deal with, but understanding their situation and treating them with respect will earn you a great relationship with them.


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