One thing we all have in common is there are certain things we tend to take for granted, until there’s a prospect of losing them. At the top of that list is certainly the independence that makes it possible for us to come and go as we please, and to make all of the little choices that happen each day: when and what to eat, who to spend time with, and what activities to engage in.
When family members begin to discover that their senior loved ones may need a little extra support to ensure safety and wellbeing at home, raising the topic of in-home care can be tricky. Older adults may feel anxious or even defensive, as they associate home care with a pending loss of freedom. It’s essential to initiate the discussion about home care carefully, with sensitivity, empathy and understanding.
Enhanced Home Care, providers of the high quality home care Kansas City, MO families need, shares some helpful suggestions for families to take into account when it’s time to talk with their senior loved ones about home care.
- Take it slow. It typically requires more than one conversation for older individuals to agree to give home care a try. Keep expectations reasonable, and recognize that if the preliminary conversation is met with reluctance, it’s at least a starting point. Permit your loved one time to process the concept, and then try again.
- Compromise. Try to uncover exactly which services the older person is in opposition to; for instance, 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 other ways a caregiver can help, such as with housework, laundry, and preparing meals. Starting out with services such as these is a wonderful way for the senior and caregiver to become familiar with each other and to work up to more services as needs change in time.
- Include the doctor. Talk with the senior’s physician 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 have a discussion directly with the senior and offer this recommendation. Oftentimes, seniors are more likely to recognize the need for care at home when encouraged by a respected medical professional.
If your loved one is still anxious about engaging the services of an in-home caregiver, it can be helpful to offer to be present for the first couple of visits until the senior feels more relaxed. Very soon, a bond will form and the older adult will be able to appreciate the multiple benefits home care supplies – and that it actually enhances independence, rather than diminishing it.
At Enhanced Home Care, we offer a free in-home consultation to sit down 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 913-327-0000 to learn more.