Could your aging loved one use some assistance with their activities of daily living but does not want to admit it?
Seniors often will not admit that they need help, even if they are struggling with everyday tasks. Receiving care can be a very sensitive subject making your loved one resistant to the idea. Here are some helpful tips to help you overcome this challenge.
1. Start Slowly: In the beginning, have the caregiver only come a few hours each week. Ideally, it’s best to introduce care into the home earlier on rather than later. This will allow the senior to get to know and enjoy having the caregiver and the help they offer. It will be easier to add hours for additional tasks as they become more comfortable with them.
2. Listen to your loved one’s reasons for not wanting in-home care. Understanding their feelings and fears will help you address the concerns they have and help you choose the best fit for a caregiver. Being told that you need care can often times feel like you are losing the independence and freedom that you once enjoyed. No one ever wants to lose anything. So, find out what your loved one’s top priorities are and let them know that you are going to make sure that we find the right caregiver who can meet those needs.
3. Tell your loved one that you are bringing in the caregiver to assist you instead of them. If you present care as something that helps you rather then them, they may be more receptive. No one wants to feel like a burden. When phrased differently, it can be portrayed as though the caregiver is there to help the family as an “assistant”.
4. Use their doctor’s authority and say it is prescribed or highly recommended. While Total Care Connections does not need a doctor’s order to initiate services, you can tell your loved one that the doctor recommends caregiving services. They may concede understanding that their doctor advocates in-home care for them.
5. Use housekeeping as an excuse. At Total Care Connections, our caregivers provide assistance with all activities of daily living and this includes housekeeping! Sometimes, it’s easier to accept the fact that a caregiver is coming into your home when we emphasize things like housekeeping, shopping, errands, etc. Releasing these responsibilities is much easier than some of the more personal care tasks that the caregiver will ultimately assist with.
6. Introduce the caregiver as a friend. Tell your loved one that the caregiver is a friend of yours that needs some company. This takes away the stigma of your loved one needing help and portrays trust in the caregiver. Bringing in a “friend” or “companion” is less threatening sometimes than to someone who may be losing some of their independence. After they get used to the caregiver, it will be simple to accept this new season of life.
7. Tell your loved one that this is only temporary. It may be more acceptable to them if they feel it is “only until they feel better”. Committing to a long-term scenario where a caregiver will become a part of their normal life can be intimidating and overwhelming. When introduced as a temporary scenario where we are going to “try it out”, it can be much easier to accept. Once the caregiver becomes a part of their routine and they adjust to the idea, it will be easier to continue services.
Using these gentle introductions to in-home care will make your loved one more receptive to the idea of a caregiver. Your loved one may truly find it a great relief to have the help!
At Total Care Connections, we have been providing assistance to thousands of families and we would be happy to help you navigate these conversations with your family as well.