Mar 26, 2018 by Clark Bongaardt
Follow These Helpful Steps if your Elderly Parent Refuses Senior Care
The process of aging is sometimes harsh. People who were used to taking care of matters on their own find that some things take longer to accomplish and other things are just not worth the effort.
As an adult child of a senior parent, you are placed in a sensitive situation. You love your mom and dad and wish the best for them, but frankly, you worry about their safety and living alone.
Whether it is a single parent or both parents, the problem is similar. Accidents can and do happen, and sometimes knowing that an outside helper is on hand to ensure that everything continues to run smoothly is all that is needed.
Broaching the Subject of In-Home Care
It is often as simple as coming up with the right approach. To coldly announce that someone is now too old to take care of themselves is not the best opening line.
Instead of giving a "you" message, give your parent an "I" message. For example, it is less offensive to simply say, "Mom, I am finding myself worrying about you living alone. I know you are capable, but there are too many things that can happen, and that makes me worry!"
To let your parent know that you still look to them for their advice and opinions, an excellent follow up to that opening is to ask their opinion about your concerns. If they tell you to stop worrying, counter with the truth. "I try telling myself that you will be fine, but I still worry. If I knew someone checked up with you regularly, what a relief that would be for me! They do not need to give me a weekly report, only contact me if there is a problem."
Tackling the Problem Together
By taking the position that you can work with your parent (instead of around her or him) allows your parent to not only retain their dignity and independence, but gives them a sense of value and respect. Of course they are capable of managing their affairs, but even the most competent individual can use help from others.
Be sure to insist that receiving in-home care does not mean the end of their autonomy. A good perspective to take is that your mom/dad has worked hard all of their life and it sure would make you feel good if you knew that someone is now taking on some of the daily chores for them. Emphasize that you know they can still vacuum and do laundry, but you sure would feel great knowing that they are finally getting a break from such boring household tasks.
Creating a Working Program
Once you have gained your parent's agreement that some additional house help would be a nice treat, it is time to build a plan for finding the right help. Once you have identified an acceptable home care service, it is time to get into specifics. How often per week should a person come over? What tasks should that person manage?
Leave the decision making to the parent who will use the service. Offer to assist in interviews, but make sure they know that they are in charge every step of the way.
Once a service has been set up, arrange for a time to privately review the experience with your parent. Typically, give a couple of weeks of service before performing this follow up. This allows the caregiver and your parent to get to know each other and the routine that is being set up.
Finally, be sure to regularly let your parent know how much you appreciate their willingness to bring in outside help and how you are now worrying less. And be sure to let them know that, while they are clearly capable of managing their own affairs, you are always honored to be part of that process as well.
About Comfort Keepers
Comfort Keepers is a professional organization that works with seniors in assisted living situations. We offer expert and caring individual caregivers who assist elderly and disabled people with normal daily living tasks.
You are encouraged to call us at 610-543-6300 to learn more about our services and how we can help you and your loved ones. Also, please contact us if you are interested in becoming a caregiver with Comfort Keepers.