What to Do When ‘Los Abuelos’ Need Assistance According to Matrix Home Care


In many Hispanic families, los abuelos provide a strong foundation for younger generations. That can create a difficult situation when an aging abuelo (grandfather), abuela (grandmother), tio (uncle) or tia (aunt) needs assistance. “Hispanic families know that aging is a natural part of life,” said Alexander Fiuza, PhD, director of client services for Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, Matrix Home Care. “Our abuelos have worked hard in this country and deserve to be treated with care, dignity and respect.” A native of Miami with Cuban roots, Fiuza holds a doctorate in psychology, and works closely with Hispanic families facing care-related issues. “Abuelos frequently look at an outside caregiver as someone who will take control of their lives,” he said. “Their biggest
fear is losing their independence and privacy. Therefore, it is important for younger family members to honor those values.”

When taking with your abuelo, Fiuza says it’s important to be both positive and supportive. “You could tell a forgetful grandparent, ‘I know you have a lot on your mind, so I will help you by handling your checking account and paying your bills.’ That’s a good example of how a family member can provide assistance.”

Preparing meals for their abuelos is another way that family members can demonstrate their care and concern, said Fiuza. In Cuban-American homes, that could mean cooking potaje (stew), soup or porridge with chicken or beef. However, other Hispanic cultures may take a different approach to nutrition, such as serving smaller portions to an ailing abuelo. “It’s important for younger family members to agree on a caregiving strategy, even if they have different backgrounds,” Fiuza said. READ FULL STORY

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Comment by Antonio Lugo on June 30, 2010 at 10:07am
Great article on much of the reality of our aging grandparents. Yes it's a natural part of life and these moments are precious. And my way of preparing is having long term care insurance set up for them and even, myself so we have proper care at the highest level when we need it most. My personal experience with mi abuela's alzheimers disease made me realize how important this is and how crazy expensive it's getting. It's NOW part of my business through New York Life Insurance. Thanks for sharing!

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