Community Blog

Talking to Your Aging Parents About In-Home Care

By Vicki Crow and Brian Day

You’ve noticed changes, such as memory loss, a decline in self-care and home upkeep, difficulty driving, or just overall slowing down. When you think it is time to discuss caregiving with your senior, how do you start that conversation? You should definitely have a plan before you bring it up, especially if your loved one is struggling with aging or afraid of losing independence. These tips can help you begin the discussion about home health care with seniors.

 

Try a Little Tenderness

Most seniors are not going to agree right away to hiring a caregiver. They may have concerns over depleting their resources, losing independence, or becoming a burden. You should remember that accepting help can be difficult for your loved one who may never have needed it before. Try to be patient and sensitive to your senior’s feelings. Remember you are speaking to another adult, not a child, so you should be respectful.

 

Accentuate the Positive

Any conversation you have about caregiving should focus on why home health care is a good thing. Instead of concentrating on why your loved one needs assistance, point out the benefits of having a caregiver. For example, you may want to stress the cost savings for home health care over a residential facility or assistance with housekeeping and other chores.

 

Relieve the Burden

No senior wants to become a burden to his or her family. Reassure your loved ones that caring for them is not a chore, but also that you may not have the time or freedom to give them the attention they need. If your aging parents realize that caregiving is a help to you as well as to them, they may be more accepting of the assistance.

 

Give It a Try

Start out small, maybe with a respite care stay or a few hours a day when a caregiver can come to the home. If your senior is capable, he or she may want to participate in finding or interviewing candidates who will provide home care. Your loved one may appreciate having a say and being part of the decision-making.

 

Call for Backup

Aging parents may be more open to discussing caregiving with a trusted family friend, geriatric care manager, or physician rather than with their adult children. Enlist a doctor or sibling to participate in the conversation, especially if that person’s opinion carries more weight with your senior than yours does.

 

When you are ready to talk with your senior about the benefits of home health care, you can include Home Helpers of Walnutport. We can explain our services and how we can help preserve the safety and independence of your loved one.