At all Home Health, we have many years of experience providing in-home care for families with needy loved ones and we fully understand how much care is required to broach the touchy subject of in-home care with your aging loved one.
It can be a very difficult thing to bring up the topic of in-home care with a beloved family member who is facing greater challenges in the simplest day-to-day activities. The idea of introducing them to professional in-home caregivers can be daunting.
For this reason, we always suggest having this conversation with as much care and tact as you can apply. Here are some of the most pertinent tips and pointers that can help you have this conversation with your loved one and choose the solutions that make life easier on all involved.
1. Stress the benefits
The best way to introduce the idea of a bit of extra help is by painting the picture as positive as you possibly can. This involves bringing up all the advantages that will come from hiring an in-home professional who can provide help in the comfort and convenience of the person’s own home. The idea of moving to a nursing home is a more alternative to this option, not to mention considerably more costly.
2. Focus on independence
There are many other good reasons to consider in-home care. For one, your aging relative will still be able to enjoy the same type of independence and comfort as they are used to in their own environments. If there has been a history of falling and accidents, this would be a good time to explain how these incidents can lead to broken bones as well as other more serious injuries that can take a long time to heal. Other problems can arise from not taking meds on time and according to the doctor’s instructions. Having someone on hand to help with this is important.
3. A New Angle
If you have elderly parents who are living together, you can play one to the benefit of the other. For example, telling mom that a professional in-home caregiver will make dad’s life easier or telling dad that mom would benefit from a bit of extra help is a great way to make sure both parents get all the help they need. It is far too easy to overlook personal weakness, but harder when it comes to realizing the needs of others. Furthermore, you can highlight the areas in which they do need help, like cooking meals, driving at night and perhaps taking care of the regular shopping.
4. Take It on Yourself
You can take this time to explain how much you love and care for them. If you have been acting as the primary caregiver for your aging relative for some time this is when you can kindly mention how this is conflicting with your professional, academic and personal life and that a little help can greatly relieve the strain. As many as 55% of all aging Americans have stated that being a burden on families is one of the most pressing concerns. If you feel this sentiment is reflected in the attitudes of your parents you can ask if they think that a little extra help can make things easier on everyone.
5. Dispel Fears
One of the most difficult parts of this conversation can be dispelling the fears and concerns that can come with having a complete stranger helping with the day-to-day affairs of homelife. The good news is that this initial apprehension can be allayed with a little understanding. Some of the most common fears are that the new caregiver is going to reduce the independence of your relative and cost them their dignity. Be sure to take this into consideration as you prepare to discuss these plans with your relative. Realize that the emotional response can be one of the biggest obstacles and be extra empathetic when broaching the subject. Emotions may soon come to rest and your aging relative will see the logic and reason behind a bit of extra help.
6. Do A Trial Run
One way you can warm up your relative’s understanding of the situation will be with a simple trail run. Say something like, “nothing is permanent, we will just have a helper come by to see how this fit.” The best time to practice something like this is just after an incident that brings to focus the need for a bit of in-home help. Or, you can choose time when help would be especially beneficial, like if you will be taking a vacation and need a break from daily care-giving.
7. Get Professional Help
Finally, if you have already exhausted all the ways you can think of bringing this important point up with your aging relatives, the next thing to do will be to discuss the matter with the regular doctor caring for the patient. A professional will have the care and expertise to bring your relatives’ perspective around to your side by explaining exactly why this would be a good option for them.