Love Advice from Seniors: Our Valentine’s Gift to You!

We’ve asked our Seniors here at Seniors Helping Seniors® in home services their advice on love and relationships and came up with the following:

Choose carefully. Marriage is perhaps the biggest decision any of us make. Our Seniors' view: many people are simply not careful enough. Don’t fall or drift into marriage without waiting until you know one another and you understand your reasons for getting married. Avoid making a commitment based on passion, panic at being left single, or inertia.

Don’t keep score. Marriage is a give and take proposition and sometimes circumstances will call for one partner to give more than the other. Happy couples don’t expect the give and take to balance out every day (or month, or year), but understand that at times you may be giving 90% and receiving 10% back, and other times your partner is in that role.

Talk to each other. Communication is absolutely the key to keeping a marriage on the right track. Our Seniors say that the “strong silent type” may be attractive and mysterious, but if he or she stays clammed up about important issues, the relationship is probably doomed.

Find a partner who is a lot like you. Although we often say that opposites attract, over time fundamental differences can wear on a marriage. Our Seniors say that you can have differences in backgrounds, but truly necessary are shared values. Check early on if your values on core issues (think money, sex, kids, religion, and work) are closely aligned.

They won’t change (much). What about taking a leap of faith and assuming you can change your partner after you are married? Many people do just that, and our Seniors basically think those people are idiots. Senior wisdom says that getting into a marriage with the goal of changing one’s partner is a fool’s errand, one that will doom the relationship before it really gets started. So if she’s always late or if he drinks a little too much, be sure you can accept it for a lifetime.

Don’t go to bed angry. It may be the biggest cliché around, but long-married people swear by it. Arguments should not be carried into the intimate space of the bed, and they are much more hurtful if they roll over to another day. Wrap it up, agree to disagree, or decide on another time to fight again. And even if anger is still there, they suggest you make some caring gesture before going to sleep that conveys: “I may not like you much right now, but I still love you.”

Can we be of assistance to a Senior whom you know?

For services and more information:

Greater Fort Lauderdale: 954-870-1229

Boca Raton: 561-757-1020

Broward #233955 • Palm Beach #231388













Tips for Nutrition

  • Serve only one dish at a time
  • Provide only one utensil at a time
  • Consider using a "spork" (combination spoon-fork)
  • Serve finger foods such as fried chicken, chicken strips, pizza in
    bite-size pieces, fish sticks, sandwiches
  • Serve soup in a mug
  • Remove any hot items or items that should not be eaten
  • Cut up foods before serving
  • Sit next to the person at their level
  • Use hand-over-hand feeding technique to guide self-feeding
  • Demonstrate eating motions that the person can imitate
  • Use verbal cueing and prompting (e.g. take a bite, chew, swallow)
  • Use gentle tone of voice, and avoid scolding or demeaning remarks
  • Provide verbal encouragement to participate in eating by talking
    about food taste and smell
  • Offer small amounts of fluid between bites
  • Help person focus on the meal at hand; turn off background
    noise, remove clutter from the table
  • Avoid patterned dishes or table coverings
  • Use red plates/glasses/cups (research shows that food intake
    increased when food was served using high-contrast tableware)
  • Use unbreakable dishes that won't slide around (or get plate gripper mats).
  • Serve smaller more frequent meals rather than expecting the
    person to complete a big meal
  • Have food available around the clock



Bathing without a battle

  • Explain all actions before doing
  • Do not push or force people who are resistant
  • Provide positive feedback
  • Stay calm and pleasant
  • Pay attention to body posture, facial expressions
  • Demonstrate the action you want the person to do
  • Use one-step directions
  • Allow appropriate time for the person to respond
  • Follow person's lifetime bathing routines and preferences
  • Provide care only when receptive
  • Respect refusals to participate in care
  • A bath is not an essential intervention
  • Encourage self-care to the extent possible
  • Make bathroom and shower areas warm and comfortable and safe
  • Consider bath chairs, hand-held shower nozzles
  • Be attentive to pain and discomfort
  • Towel bathing, bath in a bag supplies, "bird" baths at the sink



Tips for Eating Out

  • Choose a familiar restaurant
  • Go when it is least crowded
  • Sit in a quieter area with a minimum of distractions
  • Limit choices (discuss what you will order before you get there or even order ahead)
  • Order something that is fairly easy to eat and can ask the server to bring the meat cut if possible
  • Sit next to your partner and gently guide them
  • Try to have just one food item or plate at a time (e.g. salad first with just a fork, then dinner, desert)
  • Dine with friends/family who will enjoy being with you and understand your experience
  • Don't expect a 5 star 5 course formal dining experience -shorter is better and will lead to less frustration for all involved
  • Consider providing a 5 star 5 course experience in the comfort of your home with close friends and family (Order In)



The best thing we can do is to treat everything the person says, however jumbled it may seem, as important and an attempt to tell us something

The person with cognitive impairment cannot change his or her communication; we must change ours

  • Give one-step directions
  • Speak slowly
  • Allow time for response
  • Reduce distractions
  • Don't have a lot of people talking
  • Give clues and cues (gestures, pantomime)
  • Speak as if to an equal
  • Search for meaning
  • Limit corrections
  • Recognize feelings and respond
  • Don't argue
  • Don't try to bring the person to the present. Go to where the person is and enjoy the conversation
  • Don't treat like a child
  • Stay pleasant and relaxed
  • Pay attention to non verbal (body posture, facial expressions)
  • Remember it's the quality, not the content or quantity, of the interaction that makes good communication