There are certain things we commonly take for granted, until there’s a possibility of losing them. Topping that list is the freedom and independence that make it possible for us to come and go as we please, and to make all of the little choices and decisions that come about each day: what and when to eat, who to spend time with, and what activities to take part in.
When families begin to notice that their senior loved ones may need a little extra help to ensure safety and wellbeing at home, bringing up the subject of home care can be challenging. Older adults may feel anxious or even defensive, as they associate home care with a pending loss of control. It’s essential to initiate the conversation about home care carefully, with sensitivity, empathy and compassion.
Live Free Home Health Care, one of the top trusted home care agencies in Bristol seniors need, shares some useful guidelines for families to consider when it’s time to talk with their senior loved ones about home care.
- Take your time. It typically requires more than one discussion for older adults to agree to give home care a try. Keep objectives reasonable, and understand that if the preliminary conversation is met with opposition, it’s a starting point. Allow your loved one time to think through the idea, and then try again.
- Try to compromise. Try to grasp precisely what services the older adult is in objection to; for example, a senior new to the suggestion of home care may be intimidated by the idea of having a caregiver help with taking a bath. Reassure the older adult that there are multiple different ways a caregiver can help, such as with household chores, laundry, and preparing meals. Beginning with services such as these is a great way for the senior and caregiver to become familiar with each other and to work up to increased services as needs change over time.
- Include the doctor. Communicate with the senior’s doctor and express your concerns. See if the doctor is willing to put together a note with his or her professional recommendation for in-home care assistance, or to have a discussion one-on-one with the senior and provide this guidance. Often, seniors are more likely to acknowledge the need for care at home when advised by a respected medical professional.
If your loved one is still concerned about engaging the services of an in-home caregiver, it can be beneficial to offer to be present for the first several visits until the senior feels more relaxed. Before very long, a bond will form and the older adult will be able to comprehend the numerous benefits home care offers – and that it actually increases independence, rather than diminishing it.
At Live Free Home Health Care, one of the top home care agencies in Bristol, we offer a free in-home consultation to talk with seniors and their family members to discuss our care solutions and to come up with a customized plan to address any and all needs and concerns. Simply contact us at 603-217-0149 to learn more.