In-home care is a go-to solution for seniors who want to remain independent and stay connected with their family and friends. Most of the time, family members end up taking care of their aging parents to avoid introducing strangers to their loved ones. Research shows that most seniors receiving home care are over 65 years old, with 91% needing help transferring in and out of bed, and 97% need assistance with bathing. As such, the task can be a little overwhelming for individuals who already have families. Hiring an elder care professional relieves family members and ensures their loved ones maintain quality of life. While some seniors welcome the idea, others may feel neglected, sometimes opposing the idea of hiring a caregiver from the onset. We look at ways you can overcome this challenge.
1. Slowly Introduce the Idea
It would help if you introduced the idea gradually while allowing ample time for your loved one to adjust. For example, you can ask the aide to come for a few hours every week to perform less personal tasks. This way, seniors can slowly acquaint themselves with having the elder care professional around. Consider adding the number of hours the caregiver spends at the senior’s home as they get comfortable with them. If your loved one is still reluctant about hiring an aide, consider taking on the caregiver for a trial period. This would be a chance for them to get comfortable with the caregiver and appreciate the positive impact on their life.
2. Emphasize That They Will Still Retain Their Independence
Over the years, seniors experience lifestyle changes that may be beyond their control. For example, they may be too weak to go for walks or too tired to perform regular house chores. This may cause them to opt for unhealthy options because it’s easier. Explaining the need for a respite care professional from this perspective may help them warm up to the idea. With the aide, they can rest assured that someone is cleaning their home, cooking their meals, and providing support during daily walks. The idea is to help them understand the need to hire a caregiver while maintaining their independence.
3. Factor in Your Loved One’s Feelings
Most seniors are bound to oppose the idea of hiring senior care from the onset. It would help if you listened to them express their feelings instead of shutting them down. They are more likely to welcome the idea when they know their opinion matters. Understanding their fears also goes a long way in addressing their concerns.
4. Involve Them in the Hiring Process
Seniors of a sound mind have the right to choose a caregiver and the scope of work they can perform. Involving them in the hiring process plays a critical role in gaining their acceptance of home health care. It would help if you arranged for a meet and greet with potential caregivers to help choose the person they feel comfortable with. Such meetings also provide an opportunity for them to ask questions and communicate their expectations. Since a senior’s expectations and needs may change after hiring an elder care aide, they need to understand that they still have control over the kind of caregiver they want.
5. Enlist the Help of a Physician or Friend
Many older adults believe and respect authority figures like doctors. As such, they may welcome the idea if their doctor recommended it. It would help if you asked your loved one’s doctor to draft an official note. Alternatively, ask one of their friends to talk to them. Hearing friends explain the need for professional home care as opposed to a family member may help.
The benefits of home care are numerous, but introducing the idea to seniors is no easy feat. Keep in mind that the process of hiring elder care is different depending on the senior’s personality, mood, and health condition. The highlighted points should help your loved one ease into the idea.