As a family caregiver, your responsibility is to make sure your loved one is safe, healthy and getting the care they need.
Many individuals express the desire to remain in their own home as they age, a wish that can be granted with the help of professional in-home care. But selling a loved one on the idea that letting an outside caregiver—who is probably a stranger—into their home is hard.
Here are a few strategies to make this conversation a bit easier for everyone involved:
Put yourself in their shoes
Aging adults often feel as though they are gradually losing control over their own life. With their freedom and independence seemingly hanging in the balance, a loved one can start to feel hostile and resentful towards the well-meaning family members who are trying to help them. Be mindful of these feelings and try to approach the discussion of hiring an outside caregiver with sensitivity and empathy.
Choose the setting carefully
Plan out in advance where you want the conversation to be held. Pick an area that is quiet and has few distractions (television, radio, too many people). Make sure you’re facing your loved one at all times when talking.
Speak calmly and clearly
Avoid raising your voice or shouting during a conversation; an argument can quickly escalate if either party starts acting flustered. When speaking to an older adult with hearing issues, keep your voice low and make sure to properly annunciate. This will ensure your loved one is literally hearing what you’re saying.
No one likes being talked down to, especially if they’ve been living decades longer than the person they’re conversing with. Even if you’re talking to someone with Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia, don’t infantilize them by employing the same manner and tone that you would use when speaking to a child.
Listen to what they are saying
Make sure you’re really listening to what your loved one is saying. Try not to interrupt or fill the silence during a conversation. When it’s your turn to speak, summarize what you think your loved one has just said and then ask them for clarification, if necessary.
For an older adult, acknowledging that they are no longer capable of being completely autonomous will be difficult and full acceptance of this fact isn’t likely to happen overnight.
It’s important to allow your loved one the time and space they need to come to terms with how their situation is changing. Once they do, it will be easier to persuade them to accept assistance from a professional caregiver.
At Assisting Hands® Home Care, our skilled caregivers provide companionship for your loved ones and make sure they are eating right and getting the appropriate physical activity. Whether you need someone to be with you or your loved one during the day, in the evening or overnight, our at-home care can accommodate your needs. You will have peace of mind knowing that they aren’t home alone when they need help with medication, fall prevention, personal care, eating or other needs.
Contact us today to schedule your free in-home care assessment at 262-721-1155. To learn more about our in home care, click here.