There are a number of things we generally take for granted, until we encounter the chance of losing them. Towards the top of that list is the independence that allows us to come and go according to our own schedule, and to make all of the little choices and decisions that happen each day: what and when to eat, who to spend time with, and what activities to take part in.
When family members begin to discover that their aging loved ones may need a little extra help to ensure safety and wellbeing at home, bringing up the issue of in-home care can be stressful. Seniors may feel apprehensive or even defensive, as they equate home care with a pending loss of freedom. It’s crucial to launch the discussion about home care very carefully, with sensitivity, empathy and understanding.
Hearts at Home, the home care Kansas City families trust, shares some recommended guidelines for families to take into consideration when it’s time to talk with their senior loved ones about home care.
- Allow plenty of time. It frequently requires more than one conversation for older adults to agree to give home care a try. Keep expectations practical, and realize that if the preliminary conversation is met with opposition, it’s a starting point. Permit your loved one time to process and digest the idea, and then try again.
- Try to compromise. Try to uncover precisely what services the senior is opposed to; for instance, a senior new to the suggestion of home care may feel unnerved by the thought of having a caregiver assist with showering. Reassure the senior that there are many other ways a caregiver can help, such as with housekeeping, laundry, and preparing meals. Starting with services like these is a great way for the senior and caregiver to become familiar with each other and to build up to increased services as needs change in time.
- Get a professional referral. Communicate with the senior’s doctor and express your concerns. See if the doctor is willing to provide a note with his or her recommendation for in-home care assistance, or to have a discussion directly with the senior and offer this advice. Oftentimes, seniors are more willing to accept the need for care at home when suggested by a trusted medical professional.
If your loved one is still on the fence about engaging the services of an in-home caregiver, it can be beneficial to offer to be present for the first few visits until the senior feels more comfortable. Before very long, a bond will form and the older adult will be able to appreciate the numerous benefits home care offers – and that it actually increases independence, rather than diminishing it.
At Hearts at Home, we offer a free in-home consultation to talk with seniors and their family members to share our care solutions and to come up with a personalized plan to address any and all needs and concerns. Simply contact us at 913-440-4209 to learn more.