Three Tips For Getting Your Loved One To Accept In-Home Elder Care
Nobody likes feeling weak or useless, so it's not surprising many older people who need help with daily tasks will refuse assistance because it makes them feel both. If you're struggling to get an elder relative to accept in-home care, here are a few things you can do to win them over.
Position It as Your Need
When discussing in-home elder care with loved ones, many people talk about it as something the other person needs. Unfortunately, this often stirs up negative feelings in elders as they are reminded of how frail their minds and bodies have become, and they resist the help even if they secretly agree they could use it.
A more useful way to go about it, perhaps, is to position the service as something you need to help you take better care of them. For instance, you can tell your loved one you're hiring someone to do meal prep as you don't have enough time to do it yourself anymore because of your other responsibilities.
By gently focusing the attention on your needs, you will spark understanding and empathy in your loved one who may become more amenable to accepting the service to help you rather than agreeing to it because they can't care for themselves any longer.
Allow as Much Choice as Possible
Some elders resent having in-home care not because they deny they need assistance but because they feel they don't have any say in the matter. One of the top ten fears senior people have is a loss of independence.
Think about it. Your loved one has spent their life doing things for themselves and even taking care of others. The loss of autonomy can be frightening, especially among those struggling with illnesses that reduce cognitive and/or physical function.
While you can be adamant about hiring in-home care, offering your loved one as much choice as possible lets them feel as though they're part of solving the problem as opposed to being a problem that must be solved.
Most in-home care companies offer a menu of services, from grooming to transportation to companionship. Sit with your loved one and go over a brochure listing what's available and ask them which ones they'd like. You'll protect their dignity and independence and ensure they get the assistance they need to live comfortably.
Gradually Integrate the Caregiver into Routine
Seniors tend to do very well when they have a routine, particularly if they suffer from neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer's or dementia. Disturbances in that routine can be very upsetting and make the person more prone to rejecting help.
Having an in-home care specialist take over all at once can lead to disaster if it disrupts your loved one's routine too much. It may produce a sense of a loss of control and instability that can throw them off their game and lead to outbursts or harmful behavior.
Rather than throw the caregiver into the lion's den and wishing them good luck, gradually integrate the person into your loved one's routine. If you hire someone to keep your elder company, have the person come while you're there and then gradually increase the time the two are alone together until they're comfortable with each other.
Alternatively, have the person take over one task and gradually introduce more tasks until you've achieved the level of service you need. For instance, have the person do laundry every week for a month and then add on light housekeeping the next month.
There are other ways you can get your resistant loved one to accept in-home care. Connect with an in-home elder care service for advice and assistance.