If you have a loved one who cannot (or should not) live alone any longer you could be facing a difficult conversation.
Older adults are passionate about remaining in their home for as long as possible. It isn’t unusual for them to be unwilling to hear the truth about their ability to stay safely in their home. They can feel embarrassed at the thought of their not being able to take care of themselves. They can also fear the unknown of a new environment.
Home health care services could help them remain at home for the foreseeable future. Certified Nurses Assistants can help your senior with the activities of daily living, allowing them to stay in their home where everything is familiar and comfortable, and provide you with the peace of mind that they are safe.
The compassionate and experienced team at Comfort Home Care understands how difficult this topic can be to broach with an aging loved one. These are our tips for starting the home health care discussion.
No. 1: Ease into the Home Health Care Discussion Gradually
Few seniors develop the need for in-home care services overnight. Unless a fall or other acute health crisis occurs the need develops gradually. Broaching the topic even before the need arises is the best approach. This helps you and your loved one have a relaxed “what-if” conversation without emotions. It allows them to think calmly about the future possibility of needing professional in-home care assistance.
No. 2: Involve Family Members’ Needs in the Discussion
Your loved one might not realize how their growing needs affect you and other family members. Help them understand your own limitations along with your desire to keep them safe and comfortable.
No. 3: Listen to Concerns and Objections
Your loved one will likely have a variety of fears, concerns, and objections to your suggestion that they need help. Avoid glossing over them. Take the time to listen, validate, and respond to each concern they bring up. These concerns and objections probably won’t change the need for bringing in a home care agency. It will help you understand how they are feeling and what their fears are – and how you can help alleviate them. It also helps your loved one know they are respected and that you care how they feel.
No. 4: Provide Reassurance to Your Loved One
Many seniors are reluctant to express just how afraid they are of having to leave their homes. This fear can motivate a variety of resistance and negative reactions. Don’t underestimate how valuable your sincere and recurring reassurances can be.
Continue to remind your loved one that the entire purpose of seeking in-home care is to keep them in their home. Let them know that you will continue to look for solutions that will keep them at home for as long as possible.
No. 5: Remain Persistent Regarding Home Health Care
It’s unlikely that you will resolve this issue in a single conversation.
Even if the first (or second, third, fourth) conversations don’t go well, stay calm, listen to their concerns, validate them, and then try to address and remove them. Keep discussing your plan involving your senior. It can also be very helpful to bring in other family members and friends to support your plan.
You might also consider bringing in a representative of a local home health care agency to meet your loved one. In Rockville, Comfort Home Care provides a complimentary home visit for families who are seeking home health care solutions. This allows us to evaluate your loved one’s needs and recommend the right services for them.