Feb 5, 2018 by Clark Bongaardt
Follow These Tips On How To Help Your Parents Accept In-Home Care
If you're caring for a parent whose health is declining, you may be wondering if it is time for in-home care. This can be a challenging transition, and it is made more difficult when you are met with resistance. Elderly parents may have a hard time viewing their child as someone they should listen to.
Having strangers come into their home feels like an invasion of privacy for many people, and the idea can make them feel defensive and angry. So how do you get the help your parents need while keeping the peace between you? Here are some suggestions to ease the way.
The best time to begin this discussion is before a crisis occurs. Once there has been an accident or medical emergency, the options available become fewer.
Try to approach the topic before something has gone wrong, when stress levels are lower, and there are more choices that will work for them. This will help preserve the options available to them and give them the ability to make more of their own decisions.
When you're ready to begin the conversation, choose a time when they are relaxed and comfortable. Public places, such as restaurants, often have background noise that makes it hard to talk, especially if there is any hearing impairment.
Opt for a calm, comfortable environment, such as their home or yours, and simply begin discussing the idea with them casually. Don't ambush them with a list of talking points, putting them on the defensive.
You know your parent, so you probably know what would be most appealing to them about in-home care. Do they hate laundry? Are they sick of cooking?
Maybe grocery shopping is a chore they would love to be rid of. All of these tasks and more can be done by Comfort Keepers who provide assisted living in the home.
Try to focus on what this will free them up to do instead. Could transportation assistance help them go to more church activities or classes at the senior center? Realizing that they need help can feel threatening.
Help them see the freedom that support can give them, and show them all the ways it can be tailored to their needs to support them in staying in their home. If they are worried about having strangers in their home, assure them that Comfort Keepers' goal is interactive caregiving that emphasizes relationships and care that is specific to each person. They will not be just a list of tasks to the carer who comes into their home, but a person with their own preferences and needs.
If you're getting a lot of resistance, you may want to find other people who will talk to them. Siblings can be helpful, but consider other people who aren't a part of the parent/child dynamic.
Do your parents have friends who are going through the same transition and can tell them about the positives of having in-home care? Is there a trusted clergy member who is willing to talk it through with them?
If their needs are obvious enough, you can ask their doctor to weigh in on the issue. It is sometimes easier for people to accept a doctor's suggestion as medical advice, which diminishes some of the emotional struggles.
Aging brings many losses to people. Accepting that they have limitations they can't overcome on their own can feel like another loss during a difficult season of life. What may seem like obstinate behavior can be grief.
It is difficult when you are anxious about their well being and safety, but work to support them as they process this grief. Remind them, and yourself, why you are trying to help them. You care for them and want the best for them.
This relationship is important, but it is easy to lose sight of when you're struggling to get them the help they need. Make an effort to spend time enjoying each other's company, without any discussion of difficult topics.
This can help reduce the tension so everyone can think a little more clearly. It helps to remember that although you may not always agree on the best way forward, you are on the same team.
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