As loved one’s age and grow increasingly incapable of taking care of themselves, their children, many of whom are approaching middle age themselves, have to make the difficult decision of arranging care. 90 percent of Americans would prefer to age in their own home rather than a nursing facility, and with the government shifting toward community-based care initiatives, various at-home care services make this a viable option for many seniors. However, convincing your parents that they may need help can be difficult, so here are some tips for you and your family for when the time comes.
Research your options
Think about the kind of care that your parents need day-to-day. They may need more intensive care, such as medical assistance and behavioural therapy, or they may simply need a helping hand with daily tasks around the house and personal services such as dressing and grooming. Make sure that you will be suggesting options that are right for them and their current healthcare requirements.
Come together as a family
Meet with siblings and in-laws to make a family plan and gauge how your relatives feel. Putting a united front together shows that your family shares the same concerns for your parents’ health and well-being. Choosing to receive care is a significant symbolic decision for many seniors, and if there is any discord in the family, they may feel it best to stick with the status quo rather than making waves.
Don’t call it ‘care’
The word ‘caregiver’ can sound invasive for many parents who are determined to maintain their dignity. In many cases, home-care services are simply assisting with daily tasks such as housework, preparing food, helping with letter writing and technology, and facilitating exercise and social events. Care providers such as caring people inc, which advertise a companion care or housekeeping service which focuses on routine assistance – many seniors are much more receptive to the idea of a housekeeper than a daily nurse.
Arrange a trial
Some seniors see the introduction of home health care as the beginning of the end of their independence. Instead of setting any care routine in stone, arrange a trial with your home-care service. One month is short enough to not feel daunting for reluctant patients, yet long enough for loved ones to notice an improved home environment and quality of life.
Most care services recognize the need to preserve a senior’s dignity, but in their frustration, many people tend to forget that their parents, despite any reduced mental or physical faculties, are still adults and need to be treated as such. People react poorly to being told what to do or being spoken down to, particularly from their own children. Respect your loved ones and remain supportive of whatever decision they reach.
At-home care, while less disruptive than assisted living facilities and nursing homes, is still a hard decision for many seniors to come to terms with, particularly those who prize their dignity and independence. If you’re considering caring options for your parent, it’s important to be gentle and respectful at every stage of discussion, and come together as a family for support during a difficult time.