FRIDAY FIVE: Ways to Introduce Home Care to Seniors
Updated: Apr 1, 2020
As a family caregiver, you desperately need regular breaks, but your older adult absolutely refuses an in-home caregiver. What can you do?
Seniors often won’t admit they need help, even if they’re struggling with everyday tasks. Home care can be a sensitive subject that leads to arguments or an immediate shutdown when you bring it up. Your older adult might see it as a waste of money, an insult to their abilities, or an invasion of privacy.
Check out these five helpful tips to make the transition easier – even if your aging loved one initially says "no."
Start slowly and allow time for them to get used to the idea. Your older adult might need time to adjust to the idea of having someone new in their house. To ease the transition, start off slowly. Have the caregiver only come a few hours each week and focus on less personal tasks. Then, add hours and additional tasks as your older adult becomes more comfortable with the idea and that person.
Help them retain dignity by saying it’s for you, not them. If you present the idea of in-home care as something that helps you rather than them, your loved one might be more receptive. That way they’re less likely to feel that they’re losing independence or aren’t capable.
Use the doctor’s authority and say that it’s a prescribed service. Many older adults respect authority figures like doctors and may be more willing to accept home care if they think the doctor has prescribed it. Tell them that’s what the doctor said, create a fake “prescription,” or ask the doctor’s office for an “official” note on their stationery – whatever works best.
Listen to your older adult’s fears and reasons they don’t want in-home care. Instead of shutting down objections right away, let your older adult express their feelings. They’re more likely to cooperate when they’ve been heard and know that their opinion matters. Understanding their concerns also helps you address those fears. Even better, involve them in the hiring process so they can help choose the person who will be caring for them.
Tell them it’s a temporary arrangement. It may be more acceptable to start using home care if your older adult thinks it’s only temporary. Once the caregiver becomes a part of their routine and they adjust to the idea, it’ll be easier to continue using the services.
Need more ideas? Give us a call at 501-725-CARE (2273) and let us help. Our experienced team is here to help you get the rest you need so you can become the daughter, son, friend, etc., you were before you took on the role as caregiver, too!