Apr 23, 2018 by Clark Bongaardt
5 Strategies to Help Your Loved One Accept In-Home Senior Care
One of the toughest challenges in caring for elderly loved ones is convincing them to accept help. Many seniors view any acceptance of help as a surrender of independence. While knowing there is help arriving daily or weekly for your loved one provides peace of mind for adult children, it often creates stress and worries for our elderly loved ones. Opening their home to someone they don't know, along with concerns about costs, are factors that contribute to their refusal of help. There are solutions to this growing national problem. Let's look at several strategies for having your loved one accepting help:
1. Decide What Type of Help They Need
The fact that your loved one is still in their own home shows they are maintaining some level of mobility and independence. It's important to look for signs they may need help. For example, is there spoiled food in the refrigerator and dirty dishes in the sink? If your elderly loved one appears to be losing weight, these clues may imply they need assistance with meal preparation. Identify the red flags that indicate there is a problem and decide what type of help is needed and how often the help is needed.
2. Timing and Tone are Everything
Choosing the right time and using the right tone of voice in approaching the subject is very important. Too often our busy lives have us stressed and in a hurry. Nothing shuts down a conversation regarding help for your elderly loved one than a harsh tone used while on your way out their door. Plan the conversation, the setting, and watch your tone and mannerisms. Have tea or coffee together in a relaxed setting. Offer options for their consideration and seek their input. By treating their concerns with respect, you're more likely to be viewed as a friend rather than a foe.
3. Research Financial Options
It is helpful to research financing options for in-home care before having the conversation as the cost is often a big concern. Investigate Medicare, Medicaid, any insurance policies, and aging Veterans benefits that may be applicable. While the cost may be the first reason your elderly loved one uses to say no, remind them of the cost associated with assisted living facilities. Staying in their own home is preferable to most seniors and in-home care helps extended this option.
4. Gather Friends and Family
Ask friends and family for their input; there's no reason to shoulder the convincing alone. Perhaps a friend has experience with in-home care and is able to provide a testimonial about its benefits. Family members are helpful to the extent they too use the right approach and tone with their elderly loved ones. Present the idea in waves with family visiting at different times. Do not approach the subject as a group or your loved one will feel trapped and ganged-up upon.
5. Give Yourself a Break
Realizing your elderly loved one needs help and speaking with them about it can be an emotional time. Don't expect an agreement from the first conversation. Try approaching the subject in multiple conversations over a short space of time. If you don't see their resistance breaking, take a break. Wait a few weeks to approach the subject again. Depending on the help needed, there might not be time to wait, in which case you must press on. Just take a deep breath and keep going, knowing that you are indeed trying to make things easier and better for your loved one.
Whether it's daily tasks like meal preparation or a weekly trip to the grocery store, your elderly loved one will love our friendly, personable staff. Not only does in-home care aid in basic living skills, it also helps eliminate loneliness and isolation. After a few visits, your elderly loved one will begin looking forward to the visits and the help. For more information about our services at Comfort Keepers, give us a call at 610-543-6300 or contact us today.