Talking to Your Senior Parents About Accepting Help at Home
Broaching the subject of home care with a senior parent can be a challenging and possibly intimidating task. It can be difficult for some to even recognize and accept that an elderly parent may need in-home assistance. Then, getting them to agree to it may seem impossible.
However, there are some helpful suggestions and strategies available to facilitate this monumental task.
- Schedule a family meeting
- Make a list of the benefits
- Address fears or misgivings
- Promote independence
- Be patient
- Professional assistance
- Suggest a trial
Schedule a Family Meeting
Having a family meeting about the subject of home care can be an effective way to first introduce the idea to your elderly parent. This method provides you with a little extra support from other family members. It will also allow all family members that wish to participate the opportunity to do so. Give family members enough advanced notice so they have time to prepare what they would like to contribute.
Hold the meeting at a location that is comfortable for your elderly parent, and conduct the meeting in a non-aggressive fashion. The last thing you want is for your parent to feel like they are being ganged up on or attacked.
Make a List of the Benefits
The benefits of in-home care are abundant, and it is important to share those advantages with your senior parent. Some examples are:
- Maintaining Independence
- Help with chores and housework
- Help with nutrition and meals
- Accompaniment to appointments and other social activities
- Physical, mental, and emotional support
These are just a few suggestions. You can cater the list to your loved one’s interests.
Address Fears or Misgivings
If your senior parent is resistant to the idea of homecare, you can try to get them to open up about some of the reasons why. Often, resistance to home care stems from the fear of a stranger having access to such an intimate part of their lives. Try to see it from your parent’s point of view and approach the situation in an empathetic manner.
For a lot of seniors, the number one fear is loss of independence. No one wants to feel like they have no control over their own life. This is a good opportunity to explain how in-home care actually helps preserve independence, rather than take it away. It allows your loved one to stay in the comfort of their own home rather than live in a retirement community. A retirement community would not afford even a fraction of the independence allowed by staying at home.
It is critical to be patient throughout this process. It is highly unlikely that your loved will be on board immediately, seconds after the subject is addressed. It is a big step and your parent will need time to consider the possible options and assess the entire situation.
Rushing things will only give the impression that they have no choice in the matter.
Sometimes the difference maker can be having a doctor or a health care professional discuss the topic of home care with your loved one. Hearing about the benefits from a professional in the field tends to carry more weight.
Also, most parents don’t like to be told what to do by their children. Regardless of age, parents tend to always view their children as the babies they brought into the world.
Suggest a Trial Run
If your loved one is still hesitant about the home care option, suggest a trial run. This will provide a glimpse into what home care has to offer, and if it will be the right choice for you and your family.
Broaching the subject of home care with a senior parent can be a challenging and possibly intimidating task. It can be difficult for some to even recognize and accept that an elderly parent may need in-home assistance. Then, getting them to agree to it may seem impossible. However, there are some helpful suggestions and strategies available to facilitate this monumental task. Having a family meeting about the subject of home care can be an effective way to first introduce the idea to your elderly parent. This method provides you with a little extra support from other family members.