In a perfect world, your loved ones would never come to a point where they need help with activities of daily living. They would live independently and continue to prosper indefinitely.
However, this is not a perfect world. If you are facing the fact that your parents can no longer handle some of the aspects of completely independent living, you are likely wondering how to help them see the realities of their situation. What can you do to help them take advantage of the opportunities that home healthcare may afford them?
Assessing the Need
In some cases, your loved one may experience a life or health event that makes it clear that home health is required. When this happens, your loved one may readily agree to the idea of hiring a home health agency to help out.
In other cases, however, your loved one's circumstances may change so gradually that he or she is often unaware of a growing need for assistance. When this happens, helping your loved one make an honest assessment of his or her needs requires patience and skill.
Steps to Promote Adjustment and Acceptance
There are a number of things you can do to ease the path for your loved one to accept help from a home healthcare provider. Here are some tips to get you started:
1) Understand the emotions involved.
Humans naturally resist change. In the case of older ones, this resistance can be especially strong. Why is that the case?
Put yourself in your loved one's position. Likely, he or she has been living independently for a number of years. Taking real pride in being self-sufficient is a natural human trait. As declining health and increasing age have taken their toll on your loved one, it is easy for him or her to feel resentment at the changes. This resentment may translate into a stubborn refusal to acknowledge the need for assistance.
The article "Tips to Guide Your Elder into Accepting In-Home Care" states it nicely, saying: "Their bodies are changing, and their sense of control on their world is unraveling. And now, you bring up the subject of having someone in their home to help with the everyday things they've always taken care of themselves."
Understanding the point of view of your loved one will help you find the compassion and patience to handle this situation with grace and dignity.
2) Ferret out their fears.
While it may seem incomprehensible to you that your loved one does not seem to want help when he or she obviously needs it, there are some common fears your senior may have that you can alleviate with a little time and finesse.
For instance, if your loved one feels that accepting home care is a step toward having to move to a nursing home, you can assure him or her that home healthcare is actually a way to delay or perhaps prevent a move to a facility.
3) Take the heat for the decision.
In some cases, it may be simple pride that keeps your loved one from accepting help. Ease him or her over this hump by framing the situation differently. For instance, rather than saying, "You really need to get some help around here", phrase your statement in a different way, perhaps saying something like, "I'd really like to have time to just sit and talk with you when I come to visit. Do you think we could find someone to help out with the chores so that I have more time to spend with you?"
This sort of re-phrasing eliminates any negativity and puts your parent on the far more familiar ground of looking after your needs rather than seeing to their own. It promotes a win-win situation for both of you.
3) Offer options.
The article "9 Strategies to Help a Parent Who Refuses Care" offers this sage advice: "If possible, include your parent in interviews or in setting schedules. Let them choose certain days of the week or times of day to have a home health aide come. Emphasize an aide will be a companion for walks, concerts, museum visits and other favorite activities."
Finding a home health worker who is a good
fit for your loved one is essential to success.
Offering options will help your loved one retain a sense of control over his or her life, an essential component of happy living.
Emphasize that working with a home health agency will allow your loved one to find a care companion who will be a good fit for your family. Rather than viewing such a care professional as an outsider, encourage your loved one to embrace the caregiver as a valued companion who will provide the type and quality of care needed.
When you and your loved one are ready to find the right care companion for your family, contact us to set up a consultation and get a positive relationship started right away.