Your elderly father lives far away and has been having some serious health issues. Dad’s always been a proud and independent person, so whenever you bring up the topic of home care he just grunts and says, “I can take care of myself”. But now you’re worried that dad’s freedom and independence are at risk. As an adult child convincing a senior parent that they need help around the house can be frustrating. Here are five ways to gradually ease your senior loved one into accepting some professional home care.
Why Do Seniors Balk at Home Care?
Because most seniors have spent a lifetime running a household, they don’t want to be lectured by others about how to manage their affairs- especially their own children. Here are some other reasons why a senior might balk at the idea of home care:
- It’s something that “old people” need.
- Don’t want to pay someone to take care of them
- Heard negative stories from others about in-home caregivers
- Don’t want a “stranger” in their home
- Can’t accept the fact that their health is declining
- Just want to be left alone
If your aging loved one has dementia it’s even harder for them to understand why they would need an outsider coming into their home.
Getting a Stubborn Senior Parent to Say “Yes” to Home Care
Convincing a parent to accept some assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) can be challenging- but it is possible when taking these five steps:
1. Involve your siblings
If you get along well with your siblings, share your concerns, get their support, and then speak to mom or dad as a unified group. If physically getting everyone together is a challenge, try using an online chat service like Facetime or Skype.
While being respectful, start the conversation off by telling your parent how much they mean to you and why you all are concerned about their health and wellbeing. When discussing the topic of home care with your parent, instead of using the term “caregiver” say “personal assistant”. Sometimes putting on a unified front will convince a stubborn parent to be more open-minded.
2. Mention people they know
Mention examples of elderly friends or neighbors who benefit from having their own “personal assistant” around the home. Also, bring up family members who have benefited from their assistants over the years. Mention how it allowed them to continue living at home rather than going into a long-term care facility.
3. Focus on the advantages
If mom’s feeling lonely, gently point out how a personal assistant could keep her company. If dad’s having trouble getting around, respectfully discuss how a trained professional could help. Once you have a dialogue going it’s easier to be blunt and honest with your parent.
Discuss the cost difference between an assisted living facility where you pay for an entire month upfront, versus an hourly fee for an in-home assistant.
4. Involve trusted outsiders
If you and your siblings are still facing resistance it may be time to involve some trusted outsiders like your parent’s doctor, pastor, or close friend. A geriatric care manager can also do a full health assessment and make recommendations to the family- including mom or dad.
5. Take it slow
You may have better luck if you start your parent out slowly with only a few hours of home care each week. For example, find mom or dad a personal assistant to transport them to their medical appointments or clean house. After they’ve gotten used to the idea of having someone around- and reaped the benefits- you can slowly ease them into accepting more help.
Our Compassionate Senior Home Care Services Are Ready When You Are
Once you’ve convinced your senior to accept some home care contact us and we’ll handle the rest. As a fully licensed home care agency our compassionate caregivers can provide in-home services like personal care, companionship care, respite care, dementia care, and even 24-hour care. Our team’s mission is to maintain your loved one’s quality of life so they can continue aging safely and comfortably in place with dignity and independence.
For your added convenience all our family trusted services can be individually combined into an affordable package when and where you need them! To learn more about us, or to schedule a FREE initial assessment for a senior in our service area, please visit us online or give us a call.