- First and foremost, be respectful and understanding of how your loved one feels. The aging process can feel like a loss of physical and mental independence, which is frightening. Be patient with your loved one.
- Don’t wait for a major physical illness to happen before you have the conversation. Start early, when your loved one is fairly healthy and independent. Ask them what they would want to do in the future, should he or she need help at home. Let your loved one know that you understand it’s important to him or her to remain independent in their own home for as long as possible. Bring up the subject of in-home care, and speak positively of the benefits. After all, in-home care can help your loved on to remain independent for as long as possible.
- Try to hone in on why your loved one is refusing help. Ask questions and gather information so you can possibly tailor a solution according to your loved one’s preferences. Once you uncover his or her fears, you can possibly compromise and offer options, so that your loved one does not feel they are losing control. If privacy is an issue, let your loved one know that home care agencies understand this, and do everything they can do preserve a patient’s dignity. If finances are a concern, consider a compromise on the amount of days and hours your loved one is receiving help.
- Include your loved on in the selection process. When interviewing agencies and home caregivers, whenever possible, your loved one should participate in the selection process. You may feel that a particular caregiver is a perfect fit for your grandfather or mother, but he or she may not. Being included in the selection process also preserves your loved one’s feelings of having some control.
- Include other family members who will support your decision, but don’t “gang up” on your elder. You want to show that all of you are unified in your feeling that your loved one needs at-home care, but don’t make your grandfather feel that it’s all of you against him. This will only cause him to become angry and defensive.
- Suggest a trial run, possibly starting out slowly with only a few hours a week, then working up to where you and your loved one feel that all of his needs are being met.
- Finally, knowing when to pick and choose your battles, and not feeling guilty if your loved one doesn’t agree to your terms, or refuses home care all together. You did your best, and you can revisit the subject again in the future.
Resistance is a challenge that many family members, home care agencies, and caregivers face. By understanding the impact that needing and accepting help has on an elderly person, you can help alleviate their fears, and work with them and for them to remain healthy and independent.
Photo by garryknight
Photo by garryknight