Although your aging mother has always been a proud and independent woman, ever since your father died something’s changed. The last few times that you’ve visited Mom her appearance was disheveled, the house was a mess, and the fridge was nearly empty. It’s reached the point that you would like to have “the talk” with Mom about bringing on a professional in-home caregiver. What should you do? Encouraging a loved one to get home care assistance is never easy. Using these tips will help ensure that they get the nurturing they deserve.
Why Some Seniors Reject Home Care
Since the average senior has spent a lifetime running a household and working at various jobs, they don’t like to be lectured about how to manage their affairs — especially by adult children or grandchildren.
Whether it’s provided by an informal caregiver or a paid professional, seniors often balk at the idea of receiving home care for reasons like:
- Privacy concerns
Confusion and memory loss caused by dementia or Alzheimer’s can further cloud a senior’s judgment. Once cognitive changes occur, convincing a loved one to accept care can be even more challenging.
Convincing Your Aging Loved One to Say “Yes”
Every older adult deserves the right to age in place with dignity and respect. Once you start noticing that your loved one is having trouble performing activities of daily living (ADLs), here’s how to gently ease them into the idea of in-home care:
Voice your concerns
Look for “red flags” around your senior’s home like dirty dishes in the sink, stacks of unpaid bills, or piles of dirty laundry. Choose a non-threatening setting to sit down with them and respectfully share your concerns. Politely ask if they are having trouble completing household tasks like laundry, cooking, or cleaning. If so, offer to help.
Involve other family members
If your initial conversation doesn’t go as you’d hoped, ask your siblings and other family members to chime in. Approach your loved one as a unified group and tell them how much they mean to you, along with why you are all worried about their health and wellbeing. Hearing the same message from several people may be all it takes to change a stubborn senior’s mind.
Seek outside assistance
If you are still having trouble convincing them, the next step is to involve some trusted outsiders like a doctor, faith leader, or close family friend. A geriatric care manager can also do a complete health assessment and make recommendations to the group while your elderly loved one is present.
Share “real-world” examples
Share recent examples of retired friends or neighbors who benefited from having a “personal assistant” around the home. Point out family members who have used in-home care over the years and how it allowed them to continue living independently rather than moving into a nursing home.
Point out the benefits
If Dad is lonely, mention how your presence could help cheer him up. If he’s having trouble getting around, discuss specific ways that you could lend assistance. Once you have a dialogue going, it’s easier to be blunt and honest with your loved one. While you have Dad’s attention, mention again the advantages of remaining at home versus moving into an assisted living retirement community.
Take it slow
Another good strategy is to slowly ease your loved one into the idea of receiving care for only a few hours per week. For example, volunteer to take Mom to her medical appointments or clean her house. After she’s gotten used to having someone around — and reaped the rewards — you can usually convince even the most stubborn senior to accept help from their newfound “personal assistant!”
Flexible In-Home Care Solutions for Seniors in Northern Milwaukee
Once you’ve finally convinced an aging loved one to accept home care assistance, finding the right provider can be equally nerve-wracking. Put your mind at ease by contacting the caring professionals from Home Instead Senior Care. Conveniently available in Northern Milwaukee, our senior care services help to enhance the aging experience by providing practical support at home delivered with a human touch.
Our reliable in-home solutions help aging adults stay engaged in everyday life with tailor-made support to stay safe and well at home. At Home Instead, it is always our mission to provide a care plan personalized to your family’s needs – bringing you all comfort, companionship, and peace of mind. To learn more or schedule a time to talk with one of our home care specialists, please visit us at homeinsteadwi.wpengine.com.