Nothing is more frustrating as an adult than trying to convince an aging parent to accept at-home care or help around their house. Most at-home seniors immediately perceive the topic as a threat to their independence and an invasion of privacy. “I can take care of myself”, or “those services are for old people” are commonly heard, as your mom or dad’s stubbornness and pride rise to the forefront.
You love your parent, and want to provide them with the nurturing they need so that they can continue aging in place within the comfort of their own home. So what do you do? Convincing an aging parent that’s hesitant to accept at-home care is never easy. What follows are several ideas from experts you can use to help facilitate a smoother and more successful process.
Start Early when Discussing At-Home Care
Most seniors have a survivor’s mentality, as they’ve been managing their own households and affairs throughout their lives. As a result, they’re not usually receptive to accepting help from others, especially strangers. First off, start early when approaching them about some at-home care, and before they encounter a serious health problem. For example, your dad may have recently passed away, leaving mom alone in the home. Ask her about any challenges she might be having, like keeping up with the household chores or yard work, and where she sees herself in a few years when she’s “older”. Keep an open dialogue going, and watch for signs around the house, like piles of unwashed laundry or dishes, where you can pitch in. Bear in mind that she may accept your offer, or she might not. If it’s the latter, don’t take it personally.
Getting Your Aging Parent to Say “Yes”
If you’ve noticed that your aging parent is having trouble keeping up with some of their daily living activities, discuss the topic with your siblings. Find out if they could also gently mention their concerns to your mom or dad. Or, as a group you can even schedule a casual, non-threatening sit-down with your parent to talk about their needs, along with caregiving options including professional “housekeepers”. Having the entire family on-board will make the whole process easier. In addition, here are some other approaches to take on-the-road to getting your aging parent to say “yes” to some at-home care:
Rome wasn’t built in a day. It may take some time for your aging loved one to warm up to the idea. Be persistent- yet respectful- as you discuss the topic gradually.
Take it Slow
You might have success if you start slowly by volunteering to drive your mom or dad to some doctors’ appointments, clean house or prepare a meal. Point out that you are assisting them because you love them, and appreciate all they’ve done for you while growing up. Slowly ease your parent into the idea of accepting some care.
Recruit a Trusted Outsider (or Two)
Your aging parent may not listen to you simply because you’ll always be their child. But they might accept the advice of a trusted outsider like a clergy member, close friend or doctor. Approach these potential advocates about speaking to your parent about the benefits they could receive if they were to accept at-home care.
Make it About You and Not Them
Okay, they’ve let you help them around the house a few hours per week, but now it’s starting to wear you down. This may be a good time to sell the idea of hiring an outside “personal assistant”, or “housekeeper”. Suggest that this is something that would mainly benefit you, and not just them. Tell your parent that you are having trouble managing your own job and family and ask them if it would be okay to meet with someone who could help out with some of their weekly household responsibilities.
Once your aging parent agrees to allow an outside professional to come in and assist around their home, schedule a screening interview over some coffee with the three of you. This will give everyone a chance to casually discuss expectations and get to know one another. Start the professional caregiver out slowly with maybe just a few hours per week, and see where it goes from there. If nothing else, you’ve finally gotten your aging parent to say “yes” to some at-home care!
Reliable At-Home Care for Your Aging Parent
When your aging parent has finally agreed to accept at-home care, finding the right caregiver can be challenging. At First in Care, we’ve done most of the groundwork for you, as our highly-trained home care aids are all carefully screened beforehand to ensure your loved one’s safety and security. Our experienced caregivers provide reliable services like light housework, laundry, cooking, transportation and companionship, all delivered in a flexible, seamless and affordable package that restores your peace-of-mind. For more information on the family-trusted home care services that First in Care specializes in for seniors in the Bradenton, FL area, visit www.firstincare.com.