When it becomes evident that our aging parents or loved ones need some additional assistance in the home, the next step is broaching the subject. It can be difficult to talk about this topic with your senior loved one as it sometimes makes them feel their independence will be limited, but this is a normal reaction and one we can help you navigate. Ultimately, you are trying to protect your aging parent’s health, safety and wellbeing and it comes from a place of affection and reassurance.
We all recognize that while loved ones want to remain independent, their long-term health and welfare are essential and equally important. Here are a few ways we recommend approaching the discussion on home care.
- Planning is Vital. Choose a place and time when there will be no interruptions so the emphasis is on topic. An intimate Sunday morning or afternoon in a relaxed environment may be ideal to discuss issues, whereas a hectic holiday weekend would be too chaotic.
- Approach the Discussion with Sensitivity. Begin the conversation in as natural and comfortable an environment as possible, and begin with open-ended questions. Ask how things are going at the home, and try not to overpower the discussion with one-sided comments and observations.
- Remain Truthful. Your aging parents and loved ones will be grateful to be included in a candid talk about their safety and care. Make sure they’re involved in any decision-making, and describe the differences between staying at home and moving to a care community or residence.
- Communicate Emotions Along with Examples. Have you detected that your aging parents or loved ones are unable to perform basic household tasks, or that the pantry and refrigerator are always bare? You will need to be steadfast and resilient when sharing the issues that you’ve become aware of in order to persuade your loved ones to work with you to come to a mutual decision.
- Stress That Their Priorities Are Yours Too. Tell your loved ones that you’re on their side, and underscore that the most important thing is their health and safety. Position yourself as reliable, and reiterate that they can continue enjoying their current lifestyle with some outside help.
- Validate Their Worries and Desires. Pay attention and recognize your aging parents and loved ones’ apprehensions. Allow their thoughts to steer you into coming up with a possible solution that fits their current lifestyle. Knowing how they envision their lives will also assist in creating a plan for future care together.
- Keep Away from Feelings of Guilt and Remorse. When having the conversation with aging parents and loved ones regarding help in the home, it is common for feelings of remorse and responsibility to affect you or other family members. While caregiving is a consideration for many families, it’s crucial to put things into context. For example, ask yourself how caring for your loved one or parent may affect your relationship. How would it affect your relationships with siblings and other immediate family members? How would it affect other priorities in your life?
Begin the conversation early, as it is common that families wait to start the discussion only after an emergency, like a fall, has occurred. Once your family has a plan in mind, there are many different levels of care that are available for aging adults who choose to remain at home.
Home Care Assistance caregivers are experienced as well as compassionate, dependable and friendly, and can provide the exact care your parents or loved ones need in a safe and healthy environment. We embrace the belief that aging adults can live at home and remain independent longer, giving you and your family peace of mind.