Many of us find that there are things we are apt to take for granted, until we’re faced with the possibility of losing them. Topping that list is definitely the independence that makes it possible for us to come and go as we wish, and to make all of the little decisions and choices that develop each day: what and when to eat, who to spend time with, and what activities to engage in.
When families begin to detect that their elderly loved ones may need a little extra help and support to ensure safety and wellness at home, raising the subject of home care can be hard. Seniors may feel anxious or even defensive, as they perceive a pending loss of freedom. It’s important to start off the conversation about home care carefully, with sensitivity, empathy and understanding.
Grace Home Care, the elder care Topeka leaders, shares some useful suggestions for families to take into account when it’s time to talk with their loved ones about home care.
- Take your time. It usually requires more than one conversation for seniors to agree to give home care a try. Keep expectations reasonable, and recognize that if the initial conversation is met with reluctance, it’s a good starting point. Grant your loved one time to digest the concept, and then try again.
- Compromise. Try to understand specifically what services the senior is in objection to; for instance, a senior new to the concept of home care may be threatened by the thought of having a caregiver help with taking showers. Reassure the senior that there are a variety of other ways a caregiver can help, such as with household chores, laundry, and preparing meals. Starting out with services such as these is a great way for the senior and caregiver to get to know each other and to build up to more services as needs change in time.
- Get a professional referral. Communicate with the senior’s doctor and express your concerns. See if the doctor is willing to write a note with his or her professional recommendation for in-home care assistance, or to communicate directly with the senior and supply this advice. Oftentimes, seniors are more likely to acknowledge the need for care at home when encouraged by a reputable medical professional.
If your loved one is still uncertain 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. Soon, a bond will form and the senior will be able to comprehend the multiple benefits elder care provides – and that it actually boosts independence, rather than diminishing it.
At Grace Home Care, we offer a free in-home consultation to sit down with seniors and their family members to explain our elder care solutions and to come up with a personalized plan to address any and all needs and concerns. Simply contact us online or call us at 785.286.2273 to learn more how we provide the kind of elder care Topeka families prefer most.