Top Tips For Facilitating In-Home Care Discussion
Talking about the need for in-home care can be difficult and uncomfortable for you and your loved one. It is a reversal of roles for which neither person is typically ready. As difficult as the discussion can be, there are ways to make it productive and meaningful while additionally empowering the senior to take healthy steps. Read on to discover actionable tips for facilitating in-home care discussion with and for seniors.
Understand the Emotional Components
The need for in-home care represents a transition for everyone involved. For the adult family caregiver, it can mean the realization that a parent's health or abilities are declining and evoke a sense of loss. For the senior, it can represent a loss of independence and a feeling that they are no longer capable or valuable. Understanding this can help keep the conversations sensitive to the needs of those involved.
There's Never a Perfect Time
There is no perfect time to discuss hard topics such as these, so do not wait for one. There are only times that are made better by loved ones who take the time to plan ahead and start laying a foundation for a productive discussion.
Don't Drop a Bomb
Enlisting the help of in-home care is a huge life change. It can feel invasive, frightening, and inconvenient to a senior that has likely lived alone and independently for some time. It is not a one-time discussion; it is an idea that needs to be normalized over the course of several, if not many, conversations in a general sense before it becomes personalized.
Choose Optimal Moments
Create and choose optimal moments to have brief discussions about the topic, such as when your loved one is well rested, in a positive frame of mind, or doing a calming activity.
Respect Their Role in Your Life
Even if a loved one has diminished capacities, it does not mean that they are devoid of experience and wisdom and do not deserve your continued respect. Honoring that role will go a long way in their acceptance of help.
Be Open About Your Own Struggles
You are likely experiencing your own transition struggles, such as having an empty nest, or a recently retired spouse that is now home more than ever. Be open about your own fears and frustrations, and ask for their advice on how they handled the changes in their lives positively and productively. This can provide a way to ask about the fears and frustrations that they are currently experiencing.
Highlight the Advantages
There are many advantages to home care which the senior may not have considered. Highlight how it can help individuals retain independence, stay in the home, expand their opportunities for enriching activities, and allow time with family to be spent in the ways they most prefer.
Ask for Their Thoughts
Asking for the thoughts of your loved ones can help you understand and better address their concerns. For example, a person may not be resistant to help but is actually concerned someone new may not respect belongings that hold so many memories, or they are afraid of being exploited. Pose the question "if" they had home help, what would they want it to accomplish and provide.
Provide a Way to Say Yes
Sometimes, individuals are as resistant to the idea as they are open to it. Make saying yes easy by opening the door to negotiations, such as giving it a trial run for a couple of months.
Initially, most people are resistant to the idea of senior care services. Begin laying the foundation for open communication as soon as possible. By maintaining a positive stance, talking about the possibilities of home care becomes much easier. These tips for facilitating in-home care discussion with your senior are the first steps.
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