The topic of in-home care can be a touchy one. Many seniors, even ones who can’t manage on their own, are resistant to the idea of a caregiver. They don’t see the change as a positive one. Rather, it’s a threat to their independence, and a sign that they have reached a new stage in their life journey—one they may not be psychologically ready for.
However, there are ways to approach the issue that are compassionate and empathetic and that can help your loved one become more accepting of help. If you’re struggling to get your loved one on board with in-home care, try these proven tips for navigating these important conversations.
Give them time to get used to the idea
Going from total independence and autonomy to a full-time caregiver can be a case of “too much, too fast.” So your best bet is to start slowly and go one step at a time. Begin with bringing in a caregiver for just a few hours a week at first. This gives your loved one time to get acquainted with the new person in their life and to adjust to a new routine for assisted living. It also lets them see, in a measured way, how a caregiver can make their life easier and take away some of their burdens.
Reframe the issue as you needing the help
Sometimes it helps to shift the perspective away from your loved one to yourself. It can be far less threatening for your relative to think of a caregiver as someone who is there to assist you rather than them.
Listen to their concerns
When a conversation gets stuck and can’t move forward, it’s usually because at least one of the parties involved doesn’t feel listened to. It’s extremely important not to put your loved one in a position where they feel like their voice and their concerns are falling on deaf ears. So make the effort to really listen and acknowledge their feelings about receiving in-home care. Simply keeping an open mind on your part can go a long way toward shifting their opinion. What’s more, you will likely learn valuable information that can help you set up a caregiving arrangement that will suit their needs.