There is usually, but certainly not always, a slow decline in mental and physical acuity in the elderly. We watch our parents slowly becoming less independent until one day we realize that leaving them on their own could be dangerous. However, we are also sensitive to the fact that many elders want to hold on to their independence, sometimes long past the time when it is wise to do so.
I own Europa Domestics, a home and health agency, which places companions and nurses aides in the home. I often get calls from clients telling me of their dilemma in being able to place a companion with their parent when it has become clear that the parent is faltering mentally or physically . For example there is a fall or they forget to turn off the stove or worse but refuse to admit they need help.
For many the realization that they cannot continue to live alone is very unpleasant or even unacceptable. However, safety must override the desire for independence
In some cases the elderly are physically capable but have some degree of dementia. They cannot remember if they have taken their medication. Or in more severe cases they fail to get dressed and perform the daily functions necessary for proper hygiene.
It is important for the person responsible for hiring a companion to take into account the sort of personality that would suit the elderly individual.
Sometimes a quiet and laid-back personality is more suitable and sometimes someone who is more aggressive and takes over to a larger measure is more suitable. Of course, in either case you want to make sure the caregiver is sweet, mature, and attentive to the individual’s needs.
The children of the elderly should expect to see a happier, livelier and more cheerful parent once a companion has been placed in the home. It is also expected that the home or apartment should be kept tidy and that proper meals are prepared for the elderly person.