Seeing a loved one struggle to take care of themselves can be frightening and excruciating. You may have observed that your loved one’s home has become significantly messier than it once was, or that they are wearing stained, unclean clothing. Perhaps it’s obvious that they haven’t had a bath in a while, or there’s hardly any food in the refrigerator. Or perhaps a loved one has recently fallen or you’ve observed an unattended pan on the stove.
Problems can be triggered by a gradual decline, a sudden change in health, or a significant loss. If you are concerned about a loved one’s safety or the condition of their home, it is essential to approach the subject with care.
Express your own concerns without making accusations. A senior relative may be more receptive to your sincere expressions of concern. For instance, instead of saying “It is evident you can no longer take care of yourself. Something must be done,” try “I’ve been extremely concerned about you. It pains me to consider that you may not be receiving everything you require.
What do you recommend we do?”
Respect the autonomy of your loved one and include them in decision-making. Unless your loved one is incapacitated, they have the final say over their care. You can assist by providing ideas and suggestions for home care services. If you are concerned that home care may not be sufficient, what alternatives are available? Instead of trying to implement a permanent solution, you can frame it as a temporary measure.
Determine the underlying causes of any resistance. A family member who is resistant to receiving assistance may fear that they can no longer perform tasks that were once simple. It might be more convenient to deny and minimize the issue. Maybe they’re grieving the loss of a loved one, or they’re irritated that they can’t connect with friends as easily as they once could. Or perhaps they are uneasy with the idea of having strangers in their home.
Recruit the aid of others.
Does your loved one have acquaintances who have utilized home care services? Sometimes, conversing with those who have had positive experiences can alleviate fear of the unknown. Sometimes, hearing feedback from an objective third party, such as a doctor or geriatric care manager, can assist a loved one in realizing that changes are necessary.
Tips for employing in-home caregivers
How you go about hiring home care providers will depend in part on the type of assistance you require. Hiring someone to handle shopping or yard work, for instance, is distinct from hiring someone to provide hands-on or live-in personal care. However, there are a few fundamental guidelines to remember. Remember that the greater amount of time and effort invested in the initial hiring process, the greater the likelihood of success.
• Conduct a comprehensive interview with each applicant. Always conduct an in-person interview after conducting a phone screening of applicants.
• Specify the tasks, skills, and schedules involved and ensure that the individual you are considering is comfortable with all of them.
• Discuss payment and compensation schedules. Do not pay in advance for services.
• Request several professional and personal references, and thoroughly check them. Verify the information provided and ask all references about the care provider’s dependability, trustworthiness, punctuality, and stress tolerance.
• Conduct background checks. Typically, if you’re working through an agency, these are provided, but you should verify what is covered. Background checks can be conducted affordably through online agencies, which will alert you to any potential problems.
• If you are working with an agency, ensure that you fully comprehend what is covered. Exist additional charges for particular services or extras? What are the procedures for terminating or requesting a different provider, if necessary?
• Do not be afraid to move on if the fit is not right.
It is essential that you feel comfortable with a home care provider who provides services in your private residence. If not, try speaking with the service provider to see if any miscommunication can be resolved. If not, don’t be afraid to seek out an alternative.