There are some things we tend to take for granted, until there’s a possibility of losing them. At the top of that list is the freedom and independence that allow us to come and go as we please, and to make all of the little choices and decisions that arise each day: what and when to eat, who to spend time with, and what activities to engage in.
When families begin to notice that their older loved ones may need a little extra assistance to ensure safety and wellbeing at home, raising the subject of in-home care can be difficult. Elders may feel apprehensive or even defensive, as they perceive a pending loss of independence. It’s important to begin the conversation about home care carefully, with sensitivity, empathy and understanding.
Absolute Companion Care, providers of the home care services Towson elders trust, shares some helpful tips for families to keep in mind when it’s time to talk with their loved ones about companion care services.
- Take it slow. It often takes more than one conversation for elders to agree to give home care a try. Keep expectations realistic, and understand that if the initial conversation is met with resistance, it’s a starting point. Allow your loved one time to digest and process the idea, and then try again.
- Compromise. Try to understand exactly what services the senior is opposed to; for instance, a person new to the idea of home care may be intimidated by the idea of having a caregiver help with bathing. Reassure the older adult that there are many other ways a caregiver can help, such as with housework, laundry, and preparing meals. Beginning with services such as these is a great way for an elder and caregiver to get to know each other and to build up to more service as needs change over time.
- Get a professional referral. Talk with the senior’s doctor and share your concerns. See if the doctor is willing to write a note with his or her recommendation for in-home care assistance, or to talk one-on-one with the senior and provide this recommendation. Sometimes, seniors are more willing to accept the need for care at home when advised by a trusted medical professional.
If your loved one is still apprehensive about engaging the services of an in-home caregiver, it can be helpful to offer to be present for the first several visits until the senior feels more comfortable. Very soon, a bond will form and the senior will be able to realize the many benefits home care provides – and that it actually enhances independence, rather than diminishing it.
Absolute Companion Care services always begin with a free in-home consultation to sit down with seniors and their family members to go over our care solutions and to come up with a customized plan to address any and all needs and concerns. Simply contact us at 410-357-9640 to learn more about the best alternative to nursing home placement.