How To Help An Elderly Parent Accept And Ease Into Home Care Services
There comes a point in the lives of many older adults when the care lovingly offered to them by their adult children simply isn’t sufficient. For many elderly parents, regular weekly visits or round-the-clock care is required. Everything from grocery shopping, meal preparation to assistance with bathing and other personal care is needed and many people simply don’t have the time in their day to complete all these tasks for their parents.
At such a point, a home care professional is needed. This doesn’t mean, however, that elderly parents who are in need of such care are receptive to the idea. To be fair, we should all understand the trepidation seniors may feel when it comes to allowing strangers into their homes to assist with sometimes-intimate requirements. Many elderly people are very reluctant to accepting help from home care professionals. Does this sound like your mom or dad?
Discussing the need for in-home care is a sensitive topic, and it’s important to go into the conversation with respect and sensitivity. If your elderly parent is resistant to accepting professional help, it is important to respect his/her feelings. However, while acknowledging how difficult this time in his/her life is, it’s important to take some steps to easing your elderly parent into accepting home care services. Consider the following.
Encourage your elderly parent to give home care a “test drive”
Understandably, many older adults are hesitant to accept change. To ease your elderly parent into accepting this change, frame it as something that doesn’t have to be permanent. Simply use the “give it a try” method and assure your mom or dad that if he/she doesn’t like the arrangement, it can be cancelled. Accepting home care doesn’t require you to sign a long-term contract. If the caregiver isn’t working out for your parent, a new arrangement can be made.
Speak to your parent and ask him/her to give home care a test run for a few weeks. By informing your mom or dad that home care can be just a temporary arrangement, it can help to ease him/her into acceptance.
For many older adults, the assistance of a home care professional is more acceptable when it appears to only be a temporary situation. In many cases, the in-home health care aide and the older adult end up forming a bond. Both the familiarity and the routine allow for the care recipient to accept the idea of having a home care professional as a long-term solution, in order to remain at home.
Describe professional home care as something that helps your parent to keep his/her independence
There is an alternative to home care, and most seniors aren’t big fans of it. Placing your mom or dad in a retirement community or long-term care facility means he/she won’t be able to age in place. The vast majority of older adults would much rather live in familiar surroundings. Being able to stay at home is a huge part of feeling a sense of retained independence.
It’s important to have open and honest conversations with your elderly parent. By emphasizing that home care will help him/her to continue living at home, it should instil some confidence in the fact it’s a good decision. Stress the fact that your mom or dad will have his/her independence maintained by this agreement. The best caregivers are the ones who encourage their care recipients to do certain things on their own and simply provide the necessary queues and supervision.
Ask Mom or Dad to do it for you
Naturally, many older parents feel badly about having to constantly rely on their adult children for help. Adults, after all, have responsibilities to their other family members and their careers. Elder care can be a full-time job for many people. It’s practically impossible to provide the quality care their parents need given their schedules and other life commitments. If this sounds like your situation, you’ll certainly want to have a discussion with your parent to let him/her know that accepting professional home care services is a big help to you.
It can be incredibly hard to simply state “I can’t keep doing this for you, Mom”. Of course, you want to help. But, in many cases, the reality is your inability to fit every last one of your responsibilities into your day means you’re not giving the care your parent needs. At Senior Homecare by Angels, we believe that by saying the home care is for you and not your parent, it helps him/her to retain some dignity.
Simply present the idea of in-home care as something that is a help to you rather than to your parent. Doing so may help Mom or Dad to be more accepting, since he/she won’t be made to feel as if his/her independence will be lost.
Position it as a housekeeping requirement
Ask your parent to consider the fact that housework is a necessary chore you’d rather not spend a lot of time doing. Instead, spending quality time with your parent is the primary objective. By hiring a home care professional, you’ll have someone who can help with changing the bedding, doing the laundry and preparing the meals while your parent can enjoy a real visit from his/her family.
Taking this angle is in keeping with the request that you’d like your mom or dad to accept professional home care services as a gift to you. It’s about your needs as much as it is about the needs of your parent. When this is your position, it helps your parent to be more open to the arrangement of having a non-family member become a part of the household.
Let your parent know you’re still his/her primary caregiver
You just need some help, that’s all. Make it clear to your mom or dad that a home care professional is there to assist the both of you. You will maintain open communication with the caregiver to ensure you’re on top of your parent’s well-being. This should offer your parent some peace of mind.
The Senior Homecare by Angels team is proud to provide your elderly loved ones with the best home care in Calgary. Our Home Care Services help seniors to remain safe and independent at home. We have a wealth of experience in providing all types of care under many different circumstances. Our wonderful group of caregivers are bonded, insured and have current police back ground checks completed.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us for a complimentary in-home consultation. You can call us at 403-862-0129 or toll-free (outside of Calgary) at 1-877-209-6142 or visit our Contact Us page to complete and submit a simple contact form!
Gerry Gatto is a trained health care administrator and the owner of Senior Homecare® By Angels a Calgary – based company. Helping Calgary seniors remain in their home and maintain their independence with the assistance of dedicated caregiver.