It’s frustrating for family caregivers when seniors refuse to accept assistance. You want your parent to be safe and cared for as they get older, but you also don’t want to take away their independence. Talking about in home health care is difficult, but necessary to ensure your loved one’s quality of life and happiness. When considering how to approach the topic of in-home care, keep the following 7 steps in mind:
Observe & Learn
Before approaching your parent about assisted care, consider what kinds of services they need first. Observe their routine and see if they have any difficulties with daily tasks. Is the housework getting away from them? Are they starting to forget to turn off the stove after dinner? Is it difficult for them to get dressed in the morning? Make a list of tasks and services you think could benefit your parent. Once you begin to understand what kind of assistance your parent needs, it’s easier to research in-home care services that can provide the level of care they require.
Deciding on a caregiving service should never be a one person decision. Reach out to your family for support before talking to your parent. Contact your brothers, sisters, children, aunts, and uncles to discuss your loved one’s healthcare needs and how best to provide for them. Forming a caregiving team allows everyone in the family to feel that they have a choice regarding the kind of care your loved one receives. A team mindset also helps share the responsibility of providing care and keeps you from feeling alone and frustrated.
Begin the Conversation Early
If possible, you should be discussing assisted care services with your parent long before a health crisis happens. Having relaxed conversations about the future allows them to consider what kind of care they want. Look for opportunities to discuss caregiving options. For example, if you see them struggling with tasks, sympathize and offer an alternative by saying, “Yes, going grocery shopping is a chore, I understand. How do you feel about hiring some help to go shopping and assist with meals?” By starting early and offering options, you are giving them the chance to be part of the decision-making and add to their sense of independence.
Look for Opportunities
Unfortunately, sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. If you loved one is staunchly against the idea of having a caregiver, don’t push them. Fighting their resistance head-on will lead to frustration on both ends. Instead of arguing, look for opportunities that will allow them to realize that they are not safe in their home alone. Did mom leave the stove on after dinner, but not start a fire, yet? Moments like these are frightening but can allow your loved one to witness the dangers of living unassisted. When accidents occur, tell them you are concerned for their safety and remind them that there are alternatives. Letting them know you care about their wellbeing will help them to understand you’re coming from a place of love.
Beginning with light housekeeping or daytime companion services gives your parent time to adjust. They may come to enjoy the extra help around the house and find that the services make their life easier. Your parent may also form a bond with their companion and consider having them around more often.
Power of Attorney
When discussing in home care, it’s necessary to include financial issues. While the caregiving team approach is recommended, ideally one person should act as power of attorney for your parent’s health care. Naturally, your family should discuss your loved one’s needs and possible health care services together, but one capable person needs to be able to make the final decision on financial matters.
Dealing with Guilt
Adult children often feel guilty about getting their parents the home health care services. Remember, it’s incredibly difficult to be a full-time caregiver. Accept your limitations. You can’t be there all the time to provide the care your parent needs, but a caregiver can.
When talking about home care services with your loved one, you can start to feel like the parent rather than their child. That’s okay. Life is about change and your responsibility to is to provide your parent with the love and health care they need. In-home caregiving services can help extend your loved one’s quality of life in the home they’re comfortable in.If you and your loved one are beginning to consider in home health care, contact us today to discover the services we can offer.