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Senior Citizens’ Center

Caregiving Basics, senior citizen's center

Questions to ask at a Senior Citizens’ Center

It might be time for trying something new at your house. You might want to see if your loved one would like to attend a local senior citizens’ center. Maybe your loved one would like to have an opportunity to socialize with old friends there, or to make new friends. Perhaps there’s an opportunity for exercise there, or he could join with others for a meal or to spend time with a hobby.

As a caregiver, you might need the time away for doctor’s appointments, shopping, or just getting some rest. A senior citizens’ center can provide benefits for both caregiver and care-receiver.

If you are a caregiver there are a few questions to ask first.

Questions:

  • Who is eligible to attend the center?
  • Is there a charge for any activities or services?
  • Is transportation provided? If so, when can I expect him to be picked and brought back home?
  • If transportation is not provided, you should be ready to provide a list of people who are permitted to drive him there and back home and their contact information.
  • What level of independence is expected from seniors who attend?
    Do you assist with toileting?
    Do you accept a senior in a wheelchair?
    What about administering medications to the senior?
  • What would you like for him to bring with him?
    What should not be brought to the center?
  • What communications/reports might I expect from the center about my loved one?
  • Whom may I call if I have concerns?

Visit the center with your loved one at least once before you decide to make arrangements to attend regularly. You will want to be certain that the Center knows the needs and abilities of your loved one in terms of medications, mobility, cognitive abilities, and communication abilities. They need to be fully informed about medical conditions and they need to know emergency contact information. It would be good to personally meet the bus driver and any attendants at the center, in addition to the director.

After you have asked questions and visited the  center, discuss plans with your loved one. Emphasize the positive in your discussion. Answer any questions. Address any anxiety he may have. See if you both can agree to attend for a few days or a week.

After a while, chances are that you both will be very glad to have that Senior Citizens’ Center and those special seniors right there in your community.

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