Lately I’ve seen a trend in families who call requesting homecare services for a loved one. Almost always, adult children are worried about mom or dad and for their own peace of mind, want to hire a caregiver to help. The problem is that the person who needs the care is usually resistant to the idea of a caregiver living in their house.
Some common phrases I hear are:
“I’ve been independent for so long. I don’t want anyone taking my independence away.”
“ I’m used to being alone. I like it this way.”
“I don’t like the idea of a stranger in the house.”
“I’m fine, I really don’t need anyone.”
“Why are you doing this to me? Do you think I’m not ok on my own? I took care of you all those years.”
Does that sounds like anyone you know? Well, broaching the topic of home care with a loved one can be difficult. I can imagine that if someone told me I’d have a stranger coming to live in my house with me, I’d also need some time to adjust. At Assisting Hands, we understand that the process isn’t always welcome. However, we know that once you have a chance to meet our caregivers, that hesitatation will melt away.
Here are some useful tips for how to introduce the idea of home care to your family:
- Start slowly. Agree to have a caregiver stop by for one 4-hour shift, a few times a week. You can increase hours from there. (**Note, if your family member is unsafe living alone, we recommend a full day of care)
- As for a complimentary meet & greet. Once the caregiver becomes a friendly face, home care won’t sound so foreign!
- Talk about neighbors and friends who have had caregivers. Peer pressure works at every age.
- Discuss the ways homecare can make your loved one feel MORE independent. Think: transportation to the activities they love, someone around to pamper them and help prepare favorite meals, and most importantly a trained person to make sure a fall doesn’t cause you to end up in the hospital.
- Communicate about the level of care your family member would like. In cases where the caregiver spends the majority of the day with a client, it is normal to have some downtime. Talk to the caregiver and home care agency about how a typical day look and the level of independence that makes your loved one comfortable.
- Try to EMPATHIZE. Home care IS a tough adjustment and it’s normal to feel upset when you think someone is taking your decision-making power away. Try to use words that put the final call in their court. For example, would you rather start with 4 or 5 hours? What time is convenient for YOU to have the caregiver come?
I sense that most families feel they are the only ones who are going through adjustment period. Change can be jarring, especially for older adults. Know that the folks at Assisting Hands Home Care are trained and experienced in dealing with complicated family dynamics. We will help you find that perfect match for your loved one so the transition period runs smoothly.
And a note to mom and dad who are resistant to home care: remember when you worried about your kids when they were growing up? This concern only comes from a place of love that you have instilled in your children. Now is their turn to give back to you!