If you’ve been seeing signs that your parent or loved one needs home care, then you may be feeling anxious about having that initial conversation with your parent. Introducing the idea of home care to a senior can be a sensitive conversation, but we have some tips to help you navigate that discussion.
How to Introduce the Idea of Home Care to a Senior
The more planning and forethought that you can put into how and when you’ll introduce the idea of home care to your parent, the better the conversation is likely to go. Consider these tips as you’re getting ready to talk with your parent.
Time Your Conversation Carefully
Think carefully about when you want to have this conversation with your parent. It’s best to discuss home care during a time when your parent is relaxed; avoid having this conversation right before a holiday or family gathering. Pick a quiet time when the two of you have plenty of time to talk, so you don’t have to worry about cutting the conversation short.
Additionally, you will want to have this conversation before you actually hire or schedule home care for your parent. Discussing the option of home care will allow him or her to be involved in the decision, and this can make some seniors more willing to agree to home care.
Listen to Your Parent’s Concerns
When you start to talk about bringing in a caregiver, your parent will likely have concerns. It’s important that you listen to him or her and let them know that you understand their concerns. Some common concerns among the elderly when it comes to home care are:
- Concern that home care signifies a lack of independence
- Fear of not getting along with the caregiver
- Worries about how to pay for home care
- Feeling like a burden to you and to others
- Concern that their privacy is being invaded
Your parent may express any of these concerns, and more, to you. Be prepared to discuss each concern, and try to come up with a suggestion or way to help them feel better and set their mind at ease.
See Things From Your Parent’s Point of View
When talking with your parent, do your best to try to see things from their point of view. Up until this point, your parent has been the caregiver, but now the roles are reversed and you are caring for them. Not only that, but you’re now asking to bring a stranger into the house to help care for them. Your parent may feel ashamed, frustrated, and resistant to the idea of home care. Some seniors feel that they don’t need care at all. The more that you can understand how your parent is feeling about the situation, the better you can adjust the conversation to reassure them and help them understand why you feel it is time to bring in home care.
If your loved one is receptive or willing to consider the idea of home care, then try to involve them in the process of finding a caregiver so that they feel more in control of the situation. Consider asking your parent the following questions:
- Are there particular tasks that you would like help with while at home?
- Are there certain qualities or characteristics that you would like a caregiver to have?
- Do you have concerns about home care that we should discuss with a caregiver or agency?
Having a role in the decision-making process may make your parent more receptive to caregiving.
Be Prepared to Have Several Conversations
In most instances, introducing the idea of home care isn’t something that can be done with a single discussion. Be prepared to broach the topic initially, but to also have many follow-up conversations to discuss details and questions that your parent thinks of after your conversations.
Your Next Steps
As you introduce home care to your parent, you may find that you also have questions. Please contact Cahoon Care – we’re happy to talk about home care with you, and can discuss the types of care that may be best suited for your parent.