Getting elderly parents to accept that in-home care is necessary is a struggle for many families. How am I going to tell mum that she needs help with her medications and getting out of bed safely each day? How am I going to tell dad that he would be happier with a companion during the day and someone to take him shopping?
Few adults will admit they need help, even when they are struggling. Often they fear they will become a burden on someone else, or lose their independence. This can become a difficult to discuss topic that leads to arguments.
Here, Tony O’Flaherty, Director of Home Instead Senior Care Wandsworth, Lambeth & Dulwich and Dementia Friends Champion, shares three tips for talking to your elderly parents about home care:
1 Don’t: Say ‘you need a caregiver’
This is one of the most helpful tips I share with the sons and daughters of clients. Rather than telling parents they need a caregiver, try explaining that they have reached a point in life where they deserve a personal assistant to make things easier and more comfortable. A successful way to explain this is to us an example from the working world. For example, in an office, an assistant would help with everyday tasks and diary management.
2 Do: Include your parents in the decision making process
Your parent will be the one spending the most time with the caregiver, so it is important that their personalities, interests and hobbies are a strong match. At Home Instead, we personally visit our clients to understand their interests, hobbies and what sort of caring person they are looking for before carefully matching them with one of our many CAREGivers. Allowing your parents to express themselves means they’ll be more likely to welcome their CAREGiver into their lives.
3 Do: Ensure a long-term caregiver relationship
Now you’ve completed the challenging job of helping your parent accept they need some extra care, it’s important that they create a long-term relationship with their caregiver. Having a constant revolving door of caregivers won’t benefit you or your parent. Knowing that a familiar face is coming each day makes such a difference to an elderly person’s mood.