Getting your senior to accept help from a home care professional is not always an easy step. After being completely independent for decades, the idea of having a non-family member so deeply involved in his or her daily activities can be challenging. Fortunately, there are a number of things a family member can do to make the transition easier.
Assess the Situation
It is possible that you have a pretty good handle on your loved one’s needs. However, as he or she grows older and new health challenges develop, it is possible more specialized help is needed. Assessing where your senior needs help will give you a better chance to put together a plan that best meets those needs. Make lists of the decisions you need to make and keep them as a guide.
Ask the Senior
Even if your senior seems to not be able to make decisions about his or her own care, it is still their life you are talking about changing – perhaps dramatically. Preferences need to be considered, even if they cannot ultimately be accommodated for one legitimate reason or another. Should adding in-home care be elected, keeping your elderly family member in the loop will enhance acceptance of the change. Recognition of the new situation will go a lot more smoothly if you empower those for whom you are seeking help.
Ask the Medical Providers
Consulting with your loved one’s doctors will help you see a little further down the line about any changes you should anticipate. They may be very helpful in putting the right home care solutions in place. As before, keeping your senior involved in these discussions will make it easier for him or her to accept the changes that will occur.
Deciding on the Type of Care
If your loved one is nearing the end of his or her life, hospice care may be an appropriate decision. If it is too early to take that step, less intense in-home care may be the best option at this stage. As you have assessed the situation and made the lists of decisions and options you have, you can determine next steps in a structured and less emotional way. At the same time keep the communication open with your senior and address his or her concerns as fully as possible.
No plan is fixed in stone no matter how much effort goes into forming it. To the greatest extent possible, you and your loved one need to be open and be willing to make changes when the type care is indicated in a coordinated fashion. Everyone will be happier in the end.