Many of us grow up viewing our parents as heroes. They take care of our every need, they support our hopes and dreams, they teach, they love, they guide. Growing up, it felt like our parents had the right answer in every situation. It’s hard to imagine a time where they may need our help. However, tasks may become more difficult for them and their need for in home healthcare services becomes more prevalent. While this might be hard for us to accept, it’s even more difficult for our parents who have to watch as actions such climbing stairs, driving or making a meal become daily challenges.
Growing old is a looming reality for all of us and the need for help is a natural part of it. While it can be a difficult topic to come to grips with, for parents and children, it’s critical that it’s discussed. The safety of your loved ones and their quality of life may depend on it.
The following are tips for having a discussion with your parents in regards to their health and the need for in home care. There are two important considerations when discussing home healthcare services with your parents. First, the conversation should start with a reflection of our own motivation. What do you desire to achieve in convincing our parents to take on in home care services. Are you looking for peace of mind? Are you currently taking care of your parents? Do you need a respite from caretaking responsibilities? Second, a discussion about in home care will likely require numerous conversations between you and your parents. While you may see a decrease in ability to perform daily activities, they see a potential loss in independence. Not everyone takes the process of getting older gracefully, you have to recognize that and behave accordingly.
Before you broach the subject with your parents, first examine what type of help they may need. What activities are they having difficulty with at home? Are they not cooking as much? Does their home have stairs? Have they had issues with driving? Managing their finances? You have a better chance to achieve an open dialogue with your parents if you can point to specific areas where a little help can enhance their lives. Also, if you have siblings, consult with them about the help that your parents may need and how to talk with them about it.
Opening a dialogue about in home healthcare
Your approach in bringing up the subject of home healthcare for your parents is everything. There’s a possibility that your parents may feel that they don’t need any help. They may be surprised or even insulted that you brought up the idea. If they are open to idea, have a discussion with them about tasks they struggle with and areas where they feel they could use a little help. If they are resistant, be patient and respectful, but also listen to what they are saying. Many times their resistance is born out of fear. They may see asking for help as a failure on their part. They may also have concerns about the cost of in home care or reservations about having a “stranger” in their home. Be respectful of their fear and help then work through it over time by listening and reassuring them.
- Approaches for convincing your parents that they may need help: If you are receiving resistance from your parents there are a few ways to broach the conversation that may be compelling for them.
- There are certain advantages to home healthcare that may resonate with seniors. It’s important that you discuss them with your parents so that they can understand how they may benefit from a little help. In home healthcare professionals can provide personal attention and provide assistance with a variety of activities, including cooking, cleaning, helping administer medication and driving, among other tasks. If it’s clear that your parents need some level of daily help, in home care may be a more favorable option because it allows your parents to be in an environment that they are more comfortable with.
- Try in home care on a trial basis. This is especially effective if you are the primary caregiver. The idea of having a caregiver in your home each day may be an adjustment for some, but respite care, a short-term care assignment, may be the answer. It will give your parents a chance to see what it’s like to have in home help and give you some much needed rest. Also, if there is a specific area where your parents are having a difficult time, such as driving to store, they can get in home help for that specific task.
- The popular website, Inside Elder Care gives this tip for talking with parents, “If your parents are still living together, try suggesting that in-home care would benefit their spouse. They may be more willing to accept the care for the sake of their loved one, even if in reality, it is equally beneficial for both parents.”
- Bring in someone they trust: Sometimes it takes an unbiased, yet influential voice to get through to your parents. A doctor, a friend or a member of their church may be able to discuss the benefits of receiving in home care as well as the impact that not receiving help could have on their lives and the lives of those around them. Your parents may be more comfortable discussing their fears about getting older and needing help with a doctor or someone closer to their age.
However you decide to approach the topic of in home care, it’s critical that you do so from the heart, considering what’s best for your parents. Aging is difficult. It’s easy for your parents to feel that all their hard work over the years is simply leading them to lose everything as they get older. It’s important to ensure them that there’s no shame in receiving help and that it’s a smart choice that can enhance their life.