When you begin to notice that your parent or parents have reached a point in their life when they need some in-home assistance, you may find yourself dreading the discussion that follows this realization. As with many situations in life, it is best to have a plan before jumping into a discussion that involves a lifestyle change. The manner in which you approach the subject, and the role you take in the process, can set the tone for the discussion and can affect their willingness to accept assistance.
Don’t begin the discussion with the word “you”
Take a moment to reflect on situations in your life when someone has started a conversation with you in an accusing manner. That probably immediately put you in a defensive frame of mind. The same thing can happen if you start a discussion with your parent by making statements such as, “You aren’t keeping the house as clean as you once did.” “You aren’t eating properly.” “You keep forgetting to take your medicine.” Instead of putting blame on them, approach them from the point of view that you are concerned about their eating habits, medication, driving or whatever issues you feel are relevant to their situation.
Do your homework
Before you arrange for a consultative visit from an agency that offers in-home senior care, talk with them about what type of care your parents need, discuss what services they provide and describe your parent’s personality and lifestyle habits. A professional in this field will have ideas on how to make the consultative visit more pleasant for everyone. This is not a new experience for them whereas, it is an issue you haven’t previously dealt with.
Seniors try desperately hard to hold on to their independence. By pointing out that they can retain more independence living at home with the assistance of an in-home care giver than they would have if they moved to an assisted living facility, they may be more inclined to accept in home assistance. Sometimes, you simply have to help them evaluate the reality of the situation.
It’s essential that you be compassionate, well-informed and confident when you have a discussion with your parents regarding acquiring in-home assistance for them. Your approach and demeanor may directly affect how willing they are to accept an in-home care-giver.