The subject of in home care for aging parents is a touchy one for many adult children whose parents may refuse or fight the idea. It is understandable that those who are in or approaching their golden years want to maintain as much independency and privacy as possible. But, in many cases there comes a point when you notice signs that may indicate your parent needs a bit of assistance. How to broach the subject? Here are a few pointers.
Focus on yourself, rather than your parent. In home care is a very touchy subject with some aging folks, so start talking about it early on, perhaps even before your mom or dad needs a little help. Instead of discussing how your parent needs help, talk about how much it would help you out to have someone else handle the shopping, cooking, cleaning, or other chores on occasion. Don’t complain that it’s too much for you, but stress how it would help alleviate your worry when you cannot get away from work or have other things to tend to.
Make it about something other than “home care” or a “nursing assistant.” Even the words you use can make a difference in how your aging parent views your suggestions. Tell your parent that it would be helpful to have someone who could help with cleaning, cooking, and other tasks. When a parent views it as help instead of bringing someone into his or her home because he/she can no longer take care of him- or herself, it can make the idea easier to swallow.
Have parents explain why they don’t want home care. Don’t answer yourself in asking the question, but leave the question open-ended so that your parent can do the explaining. This may help open up the lines of communication a bit better.
Let your parent make some decisions. What kind of help does your parent need, and how often? By letting a parent make some of the decisions and providing options, he/she may be more accepting of the idea.
When a parent resists the idea of home care, it may also be helpful to get others to support your efforts. Siblings, older relatives, your parent’s doctor, even the pastor at church – sometimes a parent becomes more open to the idea of assistance when someone other than their own child supports the idea.
Above all, understand that making a life change is difficult for parents, who may be emotional at a time when they feel they are losing a bit of their freedom and independence. Be understanding, and avoid fighting, yelling, or becoming obstinate yourself, as this will only make the situation worse.
At Care Indeed, our in home care services are designed to meet all of your needs. If you live in the San Francisco area and have an aging parent who could use assistance provided by compassionate, trained caregivers, give us a call today.