We know that many older Canadians do not want to move out of their homes nor do they want anyone in their house. The more adult children insist they need help, the more their parents insist they do not.
We think that when children say: "Mom, you need help", Mom hears "You need someone to take care of you". And with Mom's lifetime of experience, the last thing she wants is to be told what to do, when to do it and what's best for her.
And to make things even worse, our society has decided to call the individuals tasked with assisting Mom (and/or Dad) with day to day activities a COMPANION! Ugh! Like it's a play date! No wonder Seniors are running away from help. We are treating them like children.
It is time for an exercise in re-branding. At Discerning Seniors we are working hard to let people know that putting in place the right support before it becomes essential can not only help avoid a crisis situation, it can provide the peace of mind everybody is seeking.
But hiring a "companion" feels a little like a step backwards...doesn't it? What if instead, we hired a PERSONAL ASSISTANT? That sounds pretty "corner office" to us. It sounds like a step forward, a step up. It's the opposite of a play date. It is a sign of having arrived, it's a sign of a big life, one worth talking about and sharing.
Hiring a personal assistant allows a person whose health or energy level might not be what it was, to stay in control of their time and their schedule. It allows them to do more because the mundane gets done faster and more easily with the assistance of another person. Things like throwing a dinner party, a bridge lunch or hosting thanksgiving seem less daunting because now there are an extra set of hands available to help.
A personal assistant gets to know all of Mom or Dad's preferences, routines, appointments, social engagements etc...and works to make their life a little easier. There is nothing childish about that.