Tuesday, March 11, 2014

How to Talk to Your Elderly Loved One About In-Home Care

Talking with your senior about the idea of home care isn’t always easy. They may feel as if their independence or privacy will be threatened, and they may feel indignant about their abilities to care for themselves. However, the conversation is an important one to have in order to ensure that your elderly loved one is getting the care they need to enjoy a happy, healthy life. Here are some ways to successfully ease into the discussion.

Focus on your worries

According to professionals who work in home care, Chapel Hill families should focus on expressing their worries. Instead of approaching the topic by discussing what the senior is failing to do (“You don’t go grocery shopping” or “You can’t shovel your driveway anymore”), it’s important to address concerns. Getting accusatory will only make the elderly individual defensive and resistant to the idea. By expressing a concern for safety, the topic is easier to discuss.

Acknowledge their feelings

Many seniors take pride in their independence, and may see in-home care as a failure. Acknowledge these feelings, but then explain how home care can actually be positive. Tell your loved one that you want them to be able to stay in their home, but need them to be safe as they do so. Let them convey their emotions and don’t try to argue about why they shouldn’t feel a certain way. The idea of home care isn’t always easy for a senior to accept at first, and it’s important not to belittle their concerns or protests.

Highlight other people’s experiences

If your elderly loved one is resistant to the idea of additional help, try drawing on other people’s experiences to show how the concept can be beneficial. Talk about a friend, neighbor, or former co-worker who relies on assistance from an elder care professional, and how the experience has helped them. 

Understand that your elderly loved one may be hesitant to accept help at first. However, after honest, careful discussions and clear-cut examples about how this kind of care has helped other people, they will begin to see the value in this service. 

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