Patient & Family Resource Blog

Helping a Loved One Understand the Need for Home Care

Grown woman with her old mother.

 

If you visited your parents over the holidays, you may have noticed that they weren’t living as robustly as they once did. You may have noticed some weight loss, unpaid bills, or even some dents and dings on their car. All of this could signal that your loved one who isn’t living as safely as they could be.

As our parents age, it’s natural for us to be more concerned about their well-being and the urge to find them some help can be tempting. But starting a conversation about these topics can be awkward. Part of the reason for this is that the roles have been reversed. As a youngster, you had to listen to your parents give you advice and you may have chosen to ignore their counsel at times. Now you want them to listen to you and they may be equally resistant to your advice. Additionally, these are sensitive topics, where intentions can be easily misunderstood – parents may mistake a concern for their well-being as an attempt to erode their independence. In the case of home care, they may not want a stranger coming into their home.

But when your loved one’s safety is at stake, the alternate to not having a conversation could have disastrous consequences. Experts agree that the best time to have such conversations is before a crisis occurs. A series of smaller conversations – over a cup of coffee or an evening cocktail – can pave the way to consensus on actions to take in the future.

Here are some tips on how to have “the talk” with your parents.

Look for openings

It’s likely many of your parents’ friends are experiencing similar challenges. If your mother mentions a neighbor who can no longer dress or bathe herself, ask what she would want to do if she found herself in a similar situation.

Be empathetic

Embrace a spirit of compassion and respect. Change is hard for most people and can be particularly hard when it means acknowledging getting older and having to adjust to new realities. Show your parents that you understand their concerns and that your greatest wish for them is for their optimum well-being.

Be willing to listen to their concerns

While you may be primarily interested in your parents’ safety and well-being, they may be more interested in retaining their independence. Stay open and really listen to their concerns and then work with them to find a solution that meets everyone’s objectives.

Offer to be a resource

If you’re meeting resistance, offer to help find solutions. Help them understand that home care may actually increase their independence by providing a foundation of support for them to pursue their usual activities. If they can no longer drive, let them know that a private duty home care professional from Blize can take them to appointments and social events. If they have difficultly dressing and bathing, our private duty caregivers can provide the support to help them stay engaged in life.

If you’re not sure what type of care may be best for your loved one, Blize Healthcare can help assess your loved one’s situation and make recommendations for how they can be safe while continuing to enjoy their independence.