It’s common for seniors to want to live as independently as possible and that makes it difficult to talk to your parents about home care. If you’re concerned about your parents being alone at home and not being able to take care of themselves, it’s time to have a discussion with them about hiring a professional caregiver.
Many adult children have gone through similar experiences. Read on to learn how to have a discussion about home care services with your parents in a sensitive, informative way.
Begin the Conversation Early
The conversation about home care services will be easier for you and your parents if you start the conversation early and make it an ongoing conversation. Talks about home care services will be much more difficult during times of crisis. By having these conversations when things are good, you’ll get a better idea of how your parents see themselves living in the coming years. These conversations form the basis for how to address the issue of needing extra help when the time comes. By that time, they will have worked through much of their emotions and be better able to accept the fact that they need help.
Choose the Right Time When Talking to Parents About Home Care
Along your journey as you learn how to talk to your parents about home care, it’s important to choose your time wisely. Whether they want to admit it or not, your parents are probably feeling frightened about having a stranger come into their home to care for them.
Try not to focus too much on their medications, forgetfulness, or risks about driving their car. Bring up these issues gently, and in small doses, to help ease their fears. Don’t keep reminding them about their limitations. Keep a neutral tone and stick to the facts.
Demonstrate Care for Your Parents by Focusing on the Issue of Independence
Your parents may not realize that hiring a caregiver offers new ways for them to maintain their independence while living in their own homes. If you can paint a picture for them of how much better their lives will be with the help of a personal caregiver, it may help them understand that they could do more with a bit of help than without it.
Offer up some examples of some things that have happened in the past and help them see that if they’d had a home caregiver, the situation would have gotten better rather than worse. For example, help them see that a simple thing like having someone remind them about their medications could help prevent a medical emergency.
How to Talk to Parents Using Scenarios
You may need to get a little creative to convince your parents that getting a bit of extra help is worth the expense. Get to the root of their hesitation. Often, they don’t want to burden their adult children with organizing care or paying for it. You can easily reverse the sentiment by elaborating on how hiring a caregiver would help you share the load and that you’d worry less.
Steer the conversation toward tasks that would truly help them, such as calling someone in to do some light housekeeping or help them prepare meals. Perhaps, they’d like to visit with friends in the evening, but they have difficulty seeing at night while driving. You might suggest that getting help with transportation would allow them to get out more and they’d be less lonely.
Play Up the Benefits and Play Down the Limitations
Help them keep their eyes on the goal of living in their home independently. In talking to parents, focus greatly on the benefits that home care services will afford them. There are some limitations with home care services. Leave that issue alone until they become better acclimated to the idea of receiving help.
If they continue to be concerned about finances, help them understand that with home care services, you’re only paying for the services they need as opposed to the higher costs associated with an assisted living facility.
Help them to understand that a home caregiver won’t control their life. They’ll get help with the activities they need help with and that will give them more freedom to do the things they enjoy.
Ask Professional Caregivers to Support the Conversation
Professional caregiving agencies or medical doctors are usually willing to participate in conversations about home care service options. Conversations about home care services can take a turn for the better when professionals are leading the conversation because your parents may trust their expertise more than your own.
Professionals sometimes suggest having a geriatric care assessment performed. The results provide an objective view of the type of care your parents need and it may be easier for them to accept.
Involve Parents in Conversations About Home Care Services
Be aware that these are crucial decisions about your parents’ lives. They may not want what you would want under the same circumstances. It’s a mistake to force them to make choices that you think are best if they’re not on board, even if it’s in their best interest. It’s best to lay out the groundwork and let them take the lead in making decisions. Lay everything out as best you can. Give them a chance to meet their caregiver before they have to make a final decision.
Try It, They Might Like It
If they’re highly resistant, give it a try and see how it works. Try to understand where their fear is coming from. It’s normal for them to fear losing their independence or dignity. Once they have an opportunity to try it, they may feel more secure than vulnerable. Allow empathy to overrule your frustration.
The conversation about hiring home care services isn’t always easy. When you care, you want them to have the best. If you’re struggling with how to talk to parents, At Home Care Services can help bridge any gaps between you and your parents. At the right time, we’re here with the right caregiver.