Talking with a loved one about caregiver support is not an easy conversation. For seniors, it can be difficult to face the fact that they are aging and no longer able to perform certain activities on their own. Convincing an elderly parent or loved one that they need help can often feel like an uphill battle. Also, it can be an extremely sensitive topic of conversation.
Whether it’s pride or fear of losing independence, it’s normal to face resistance. Your loved one might suggest that they are fine. Or, perhaps, they might suggest you’re able to help them instead of hiring outside help. These difficult conversations can put both family caregivers and seniors in a tough situation.
Tough but Necessary Conversations
While this is a difficult conversation, it is often a necessary one. Avoiding this conversation can leave your elderly loved one without the care they need. Approaching the conversation at the right time is important when discussing the idea of an in-home caregiver. Start by choosing the right time to approach the conversation. This means finding a time when your loved one is awake, alert, and in a good mood. Choosing a time when they are sick or tired will not end well!
To help you navigate this difficult conversation, here are five strategies that can help you convince a loved one to hire a caregiver. These tips seek to help make an uncomfortable conversation run a bit smoother.
1. Early Planning
It never hurts to be proactive when planning for senior home care. Planning can give your loved one time to come around to the idea of a caregiver. As with any difficult topic, people need time to think and “sleep on” big life decisions such as hiring an in-home caregiver.
Instead of approaching the topic last minute, it can be helpful to start the discussion right away. By approaching the topic before a health crisis arises, you’ll help cut out extra stressors for everyone involved. Often, elderly people come around to the idea when given adequate time to think about it.
When discussing hiring a caregiver, practice empathy. Imagine how you might feel in the shoes of your elderly loved one. Give your loved one adequate time and remain patient as they consider the idea of hiring a caregiver.
2. Ask Questions
When met with resistance, ask clarifying questions to your loved one to understand their point of view. Asking questions can help you find out why your loved one is refusing help. When you understand their viewpoint, you can better help put their worries at ease.
There are many reasons seniors may refuse in-home care help. Some elderly persons fear losing their independence or creating a financial burden for their families. Others may worry about having a stranger in their home. Regardless of their reasoning, it is important to respond with compassion and confirm their feelings. Providing solutions to their worries may help them feel more at ease. Do not make your loved one feel wrong for expressing their concerns.
3. Provide Options
An important part of getting your loved one to comply is giving them control. Regardless of age, no person likes to feel powerless. To give your loved one control, include them in hiring a caregiver. This will help them feel in control and allow them to select the best caregiver for their needs.
When you work with your in-home care agency to create a plan, be sure your loved one remains actively involved. This means including options for preferences of daily schedules, helping them maintain some freedom and independence. Throughout this process, emphasize the importance of an in-home care worker and highlight the benefits it will bring them, such as companionship.
4. Start Slowly
An immediate change can make it difficult for your loved one to accept the presence of an in-home caregiver. Naturally, people resist change. Starting slowly may make a huge difference in managing their resistance. Gradually working the caregiver into their schedule can ease the uncomfortable transition.
You may wish to begin with a few short home visits at first. You may wish to be present to provide support and a level of comfort, at first. Over time, your loved one will become comfortable with their new routine and caregiver.
5. Know Your Limits
It’s important to remember that you cannot always be at your loved one’s side. Even if you may want to, you must care for yourself too. If he or she is not endangering themselves or others, you may have to take a step back while they make their own choices. They might find out on their own quickly that they need the help of a caregiver. Sometimes, giving your loved one space may change their mind about hiring a caregiver.
How Simply Compassion Can Help
At Simply Compassion, we understand the complexity of the decision to hire a caregiver. It is both complicated and personal. Our friendly team is ready to help assist you throughout every step of the process, helping you answer any questions or concerns that may arise. Throughout the process, we strive to make the transition as seamless as possible for you and your loved one.