In a previous blog post, we shared some tips for broaching the topic of in-home care with a senior loved one – something that we find is often an emotionally charged subject, and one requiring multiple discussions before it becomes acceptable to a senior who’s accustomed to living independently.
If having this discussion with your senior loved one finds you repeatedly running up against a wall, we have some additional suggestions to help minimize frustrations and help come to a solution that everyone feels comfortable with:
- Always speak with respect, beginning from a loving place. Reassure the senior that you love her and want her to remain independent as long as possible, but that you want to take steps now to ensure that she can do so.
- Allow everyone to voice their viewpoint. Don’t assume that everyone has the same view that you do on care options. There may be times you will need to agree to disagree with family members.
- Devote your full attention to the conversation.
- Sometimes one family member knows best how to communicate with the senior, and it can be appropriate to have that person be the messenger for the family.
- Continue the conversation later if one or more family members is overwhelmed or upset.
- Do your best to keep an open mind.
- Remember, it is always best to offer options rather than opinions.
- Speak in terms of a range of care options, to help her understand that this is not about invading her privacy with round-the-clock help, but rather, a way for her to have assistance with select aspects of her daily routine, as needed.
- Enlist the help of an independent care professional, as necessary, to explain the issues and possible options. Often, it’s easier for a senior loved one to get advice from someone with experience, who can remain objective and not get caught up in family power struggles. This can be a geriatric care manager, social worker, or even your parent’s trusted physician. It may be helpful for the care professional to hear your concerns prior to the meeting. Elderly people can often downplay the need for care.
- Remind your loved one frequently that your goal is to help preserve her wishes and advocate for her when she cannot.
With an extra dose of compassion, patience, and perseverance, the difficult conversation of enlisting extra care at home can result in a plan that everyone can agree upon, allowing seniors to remain in the comfort and familiarity of home while enhancing safety, wellbeing, and quality of life.
If you’d like some more tips on how best to encourage a senior loved one to accept in-home care, Nightingale Homecare of Phoenix is on hand to assist. And when you’re ready to take the next step, call us for a free in-home assessment, and we’ll put together an individualized plan of care to encompass the unique needs and wishes of your loved one. For professional Arizona senior care you can trust, contact us at 602-504-1555.