How to Deal with Aging Parents Who Need In-Home Care
Your elderly parents may not take kindly to your attempts to make life safer for them and for those around them. Giving up independence in even small ways is difficult after a lifetime of taking care of themselves and others. How do you respond to such a strong, and understandable, emotion?
Be Patiently Persistent
Don't expect concerns about your aging parents to be resolved in one visit. Ease gently into this new terrain. Too much information can trigger resistance. Your parents are used to being the decision-maker, the people who have your best interests at heart. Now, you are taking on part of the caretaker role that has been his or hers for decades. A gentle way to ease into the discussion is to talk about a person you know who now needs assistance. What decisions did that person make and why? Be sure your hypothetical friend's decisions are similar to the ones you believe are best for your parents.
Time Your Discussions Appropriately
The days when your parents are depressed or anxious are not good days to have such important discussions. You need to be relaxed and optimistic as well. If a medical situation that may make your parents more dependent is looming, do not begin discussions on the way to the medical center. Ideally, you should have these discussions "just in case" or "for the future" instead of on the eve of a crisis. Remember to speak the truth with love, never with frustration.
Open-ended questions may provide new information. It also gives your parents the opportunity to reflect on the situation. They may conclude that a change would be helpful. When it becomes their decision, your work is easier. Don't say, "You really need help with meal preparation." Instead ask, "Why are you hesitant to someone coming every evening to prepare dinner?" Perhaps their reason will require more research about options. In-home care offers a range of options.
Don't tell your parent what to do and how to do it. Address their concerns. If you don't have an answer, promise to do the research and get back to them within the week. Focusing on their concerns fosters trust and cultivates a spirit of cooperation. Make sure your parents know that you are concerned and why you are concerned. Stress that there may be more than one solution. If you can offer choices, your parents are more likely to cooperate.
Focus on Benefits
Always stress the benefits of proposed solutions. In-home care keeps your loved ones socially engaged and in good company. Assistance with grocery shopping and meal preparation assure your loved ones of regular meals and a healthy diet. If help with personal care is needed, stress safety concerns of bathing or showering without assistance. Talk about the flexible nature of home care. Services can be added or eliminated according to changing needs. For example, following a hospitalization, our Staying Home Safe program helps your senior safely transition from hospital to home. Daily routines may need to be modified after a hospitalization. The need for assistance may lessen as the healing process progresses.
Living with as Much Independence as Possible
The greatest fear of elderly persons when abilities decline is being moved out of their homes. Stress that in-home care services are targeted to keep people safe in their homes. Senior Helpers Milwaukee’s in-home caregivers are trained to respect the dignity and need for independence of our clients. Pose your suggestions in the interest of letting your parent remain at home. The in-home caregiver will allow as much independence as possible.
The journey through the problems caused by aging is fraught with strong emotions and difficult decisions. Finding the balance between being a responsible adult child and respecting a parent's wishes is difficult. Please contact us to discover the many solutions we offer and ways to introduce them to your senior. You may be surprised!