How to Talk to Family Members about In-Home Care

in-home care senior care talk to parents silver treeYour loved ones may show some resistance to home care.  They may find it difficult to admit they need some help, let alone bringing a professional caregiver into their home. Here are some ideas that will make the conversation a little easier.

1.  Talk about advantages.  There are many advantages to in-home care your loved ones may have not considered. Remind them that they can have the care of a one-on-one caregiver verses moving to an assisted living facility or a nursing home where there is one caregiver to many patients.  Silver Tree strives to make home care affordable for your loved ones. The one-on-one care provided by a caregiver will help your loved one maintain their independence and remain in their own home for a longer period of time.

2.  Discuss Independence.  Help your loved ones understand that bringing a caregiver into their home is a way for them to continue maintaining their independence. Have one of your parents fallen? Have they missed their medications? Could they use a little extra help around the house with cleaning or someone to help them make meals? Do they need a ride to the grocery store or to a doctor’s appointment? Let them know if they fall again, it could lead to broken bones, hospitalization, followed by a lengthy period of rehabilitation.  Also, if they tend to forget to take their medications and need  transportation to doctor’s appointments, these topics could be included in the conversation as well.

3.  Make it about you. Let your loved ones know you worry about them. According to a study by Genworth, when it comes to long term care concerns, 55 percent of Americans admit that burdening their family with caring for them is one of their primary worries. Remember this when approaching your loved ones about considering home care. Let them know how much you are concerned about them. If you are now their primary caregiver, carefully explain to them you could use some relief since you may also be juggling parenting responsibilities and a career. You could start a conversation with your mom for example that goes, “Mom even though you tell me not to worry about you, I do. Sometimes my worries about you keep me up at night and it would give me peace of mind if you would try having someone come in and help. How about we try having a caregiver come in just one or two days a week for me?”

4.  Use a different approach. If both parents still live together, suggest to them that home care will benefit their spouse. Even if home care benefits both parents, one may be more willing to accept care for their loved one. They may be more receptive to accept care if it involves just cleaning around the house or preparing meals instead of feeling like a caregiver is there to watch over them.

5.  Help alleviate fear.  Many seniors are afraid of losing their independence and dignity.  They want to feel they have control. This can result in a senior sometimes acting out in a hostile way toward a caregiver. A senior may feel vulnerable at the thought of having a caregiver who is an outsider coming into their home. Responding with empathy instead of frustration will help make some fears subside. Try to stay calm and unemotional as you approach the conversation. This will help avoid resistance. Carefully choose the time and place to have a discussion with your parents about home care.

6.  Suggest a trial.  Try a caregiver for a short term period.  A caregiver could provide some much needed respite for a day or two for a family caregiver that needs some relief. If a loved one may soon be recovering from surgery, a caregiver could help assist and ease the fear of falling that could cause a loved one to end up back in the hospital again. A caregiver could even fill in during a vacation period.  These are great opportunities to show your loved one the benefits of in-home care and that there is nothing to fear. This can also help open their minds to receiving care in the future on an on-going basis.

7.  Obtain professional advice.  Have your parent’s physician discuss the possibilities of home care with them. Most likely the physician has the same concerns you do and when your parent’s hear home care is recommended from a trusted physician, this helps break down resistance. In addition, other professionals,such as a geriatric care manager, can provide an assessment and suggestions on introducing a caregiver into the home.

For more information, please call us at 502-240-6464.