There are some things we usually take for granted, until we’re faced with the possibility of losing them. Near the top of that list is almost certainly the independence and freedom that enable us to come and go as we wish, and to make all of the little decisions and choices that develop every day: what and when to eat, who to spend time with, and what activities to take part in.
When families begin to detect that their senior loved ones may need a little extra assistance to ensure safety and wellbeing at home, bringing up the topic of in-home care can be stressful. Older adults may feel apprehensive or even defensive, as they associate home care with a pending loss of autonomy. It’s crucial to launch the discussion about home care very carefully, with sensitivity, empathy and understanding.
Compassionate Nursing Services, providers of the trusted dementia care Creve Coeur, MD seniors need, shares some helpful guidelines for families to consider when it’s time to talk with their senior loved ones about home care.
- Take it slow. It commonly can take more than one conversation for older individuals to agree to give home care a try. Keep objectives practical, and realize that if the initial conversation is met with opposition, it’s a starting point. Grant your loved one time to digest the idea, and then try again.
- Agree to compromise. Try to understand exactly which services the older adult is opposed to; for instance, a senior new to the notion of home care may feel threatened by the thought of having a caregiver assist with taking showers. Assure the senior that there are numerous other ways a caregiver can help, such as with housekeeping, laundry, and preparing meals. Starting out with services like these is a wonderful way for the senior and caregiver to get acquainted with each other and to build up to more services as needs change over time.
- Enlist the doctor’s help. Communicate with the senior’s doctor and express your concerns. See if the doctor is willing to provide a note with his or her recommendation for in-home care assistance, or to talk directly with the senior and provide this guidance. Often, seniors are more likely to admit to the need for care at home when instructed by a respected medical professional.
If your loved one is still anxious about engaging the services of an in-home caregiver, it can be beneficial to offer to be present for the first few visits until the senior feels more comfortable. Before very long, a bond will form and the older adult will be able to comprehend the numerous benefits home care supplies – and that it actually enhances independence, rather than diminishing it.
At Compassionate Nursing Services, we offer a free in-home consultation to meet with seniors and their family members to discuss our care solutions and to come up with a personalized plan to address any and all needs and concerns. Simply contact us at 314-432-4312 to learn more.