Your aging father has always been a proud man, but ever since mom died, dad just hasn’t been the same. He’s not eating right, his oceanfront Florida home is a mess, and dad’s stopped socializing with his friends. You love your father dearly and want him to remain independent for a long time. However, if something doesn’t change, he’s probably going to have to move. But you live two hours inland, and dad has made it clear he’s not coming there. Home care might be the solution, but you’re unsure how to discuss it with him. Here are some ways to bring it up the topic of home care with an Aging Parent.
Why Some Seniors Balk at Home Care
The average senior spent many years working and running a household, so they don’t want to be lectured by their kids about something like home care. Here are other reasons why some seniors are hesitant to hire a professional in-home caregiver:
- Don’t want to pay a “caregiver” to take care of them
- Heard negative stories from other seniors about caregivers
- Can’t admit that their health is declining
- Dementia or Alzheimer’s
- Don’t want a “stranger” in the home
- Want to be left alone
Sadly, convincing an aging parent to accept home care may be the difference-maker between them keeping their freedom and independence, or not.
How to Tactfully Approach Your Aging Parent About Home Care
You know that dad is going to be resistant when it comes to home care, so you’ll need to approach the conversation with a great deal of patience and tact. Here are some tips for getting him to say “yes”:
Involve Other Family Members
If you get along with your siblings, speak to them about dad’s declining health, gain their support and then discuss your concerns with him as a group. When logistics are a problem, you can even use Skype or Facetime if dad is tech savvy. If he hears the same unified message from all his children, it just might work!
Explain How It Benefits Others
If dad’s still defensive, try pointing out specific examples of seniors he knows that have benefited from an in-home “personal assistant”. You could say something like, “Dad, don’t you remember how much Aunt Millie enjoyed her personal assistant and how it allowed her to stay at home all those years?” If your father lives in a retirement community, he probably has neighbors who use home care. Ask him to speak with them about the benefits. In the end, they’ll probably convince him that it’s the right choice!
Focus on the Advantages
Gently point out any limitations that your father has, like poor balance or vision, and how a caregiver could make his life much easier. If dad’s lonely, explain that having a companion stop by for even a few hours per week will cheer him up. Once you’re having an honest conversation don’t be afraid to be blunt.
For example, discuss the differences between moving into an assisted living facility versus staying at home, stressing that with home care you only pay for the hours you need instead of a monthly lump sum. If dad has a long-term care insurance policy or is a veteran, he may have coverage that will take care of at least some of the home care costs.
Involve Outside Professionals
When you’re still facing resistance, hearing it from an outside professional that your dad trusts might help. His doctor can explain how things might play out if your father’s condition worsens, including a nursing home stay. Other trusted “voices” might include dad’s friends or pastor. You can also involve a geriatric care manager who can do a full health assessment and provide recommendations.
Your Trusted Home Care Source in Bradenton, FL
Once you’ve convinced your aging parent to accept the idea of “home care”, contact First In Care. We are a fully licensed and insured agency with carefully screened employees that love keeping seniors safe and comfortable so they can continue living right where they want to be. With a focus on your senior’s dignity, independence and self-esteem, our compassionate caregivers can perform in-home services ranging from personal care and companionship, to 24-hour care.
Under the direction of an RN case manager, our experienced aides will serve as an extended family in your loved one’s home no matter where that happens to be! And, we also accept long-term care insurance and V.A. payments. To learn more about First In Care today, or to speak with a home care advisor about a senior in Manatee County, FL, please visit us at: www.firstincare.com.