Have you begun to worry about the health and safety of an elderly parent or loved one? While many seniors value their independence and freedom to live in their own homes, sometimes their support network and family cannot provide the necessary help the elderly person needs. At times like this, you can turn to in-home care for essential adjustments.
Senior home help allows an outside caregiver to come to your parent’s home, providing them with help with activities of daily life and helping them navigate through life – which has probably become trickier and more challenging than when they were younger.
Still, many seniors reject the idea of either moving into assisted living or even receiving care at home while living on their own. The idea of having a stranger in a caregiving role might seem foreign and uncomfortable.
You are not alone. At Crystal Home Care, serving Chicago and its suburbs, we’ve encountered this resistance repeatedly. For that reason, we outline here a list of ways to prepare your parent or loved one for the idea of home assistance or companionship so they might realize why this decision will benefit their overall health.
Share Your Concerns
If you are an adult child responsible for a parent’s care, this transition creates a challenging type of role reversal for all concerned. Most older people will push back against losing their independence even if they realize they need assistance. You may feel hesitant to step in and begin to take control of your parent’s life choices.
However, once you’ve decided that a senior home help agency would ease your caretaking burden and provide what your parent needs, you should start at the very beginning—expressing to your parent why you think home assistance would help them. Respectfully bring some concerns to your loved one, citing evidence of recent events, the state of their health, and perhaps your inability to manage caring for them yourself.
Ask your parent if having a personal assistant around would make running errands, cleaning, doing laundry, or cooking easier. Remind them that if they were to have a home help company, the person assigned to them would act more like a friend who could be there to talk and pass the time and help navigate daily challenges.
Likewise, let your parent know that, while you would love to give them your intensive time and attention, it might not be feasible. Many family caregivers are unprepared for the role and see their own mental and physical health suffer as a result – especially if they’re working a full-time job and caring for a family of their own.
A family caregiver might suffer from pain, depression, and even burnout. Additionally, getting the help of professional care providers allows you to spend more quality time with your loved one during your visits and maintain a different type of relationship.
How to Initiate the Conversation
This part might feel uncomfortable to many – but that’s okay. Sometimes, the most difficult conversations need to happen, and you’ll feel better once you’ve gotten it over with—especially if it results in your loved one getting the care they deserve.
If your loved one perceives your suggestion as a threat to their independence, don’t worry. Acknowledge their concerns and provide reassurance. You want to help them maintain their independence, and getting senior home help is the most productive and safe way to do that.
Develop an ongoing and casual dialogue so that both you and your loved one feel comfortable taking the conversation further. Exercise patience, restraint, and persistence. Recruit the help of your family members as needed, or even a trusted doctor or other authority figure your loved one respects and trusts.
Lastly, don’t try and solve every problem in the initial conversation. These decisions take time, and you’ll want to let your parent have the time and space to consider their options thoroughly. The more you allow them to make it their decision, the better.
Get a Foot in the Door
Rejection and reluctance are commonplace in these discussions, so don’t let that set you back. While senior home help allows your loved one to operate with more independence than if they lived in assisted living, the initial shift will be from a state of complete freedom to some dependence, which they might view as restricting. Still, remember that the situation will not get more manageable without your intervention, so it’s better to start early.
In that regard, start with home help while your senior loved one is still alert enough to create a relationship with their caregiver. Once you’ve retained senior home help, just get the caregiver in the door. Your parent might become won over by their warmth, love, and compassion. Once they see the face and the person behind the scary idea, they might start to warm up to the entire situation.
Let Them Make the Decision
We’ve alluded to it already, but putting your loved one in the driver’s seat is a great way to acclimate them to senior home care. Don’t present them with a list of demands, or you’ll just put them off to the idea even more. Instead, give your parent options for care and discuss what type of caregiver they would like.
The less you seem to be making the decisions, the better. But that doesn’t mean you cannot come to the conversation prepared. Do your research ahead of time and display a list of viable options for your parent, asking them what they prefer and how much help they feel comfortable receiving.
Remind Them That Their Wellbeing Is Your Priority
When all else fails, it’s key to repeatedly remind your parent that this is all about your concern for them: their health and safety. Discuss finances and long-term plans. Overall, investing in home care could save you and your parent a lot of money in hospital bills and other fees if they were to lack proper care.
If your loved one still refuses after you employ these strategies, give us a call at Crystal Home Care in Chicago – we’re here to help, and we’ve dealt with this situation many times before. Overall, we cannot emphasize enough how important it is to make this decision in partnership with your parent.
Are you and your loved one ready to start discussing senior home help now? Contact us at Crystal Home Care in Chicago, IL, at (708) 535-4300 to talk with one of our knowledgeable team members about your options and strategies.