In one AARP survey, 90 percent of seniors said they wanted to continue living in their homes for as long as possible.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a reality for many families. Over time, many seniors can no longer care for themselves on their own, or they aren’t safe living alone.
As a matter of fact, the government estimates that 70 percent of seniors who reach the age of 65 will eventually need long-term care. This long-term care comes in the form of either assisted living or senior home care.
Getting in-home help for your parent isn’t always an easy decision. Your parent may resist, and you may be tempted to give in. But if you notice that Dad isn’t eating right or Mom is forgetting things like turning off the stove, listen to your gut.
Here are three tips for talking to your parents about home care and making the transition a bit smoother.
- Don’t use the term “caregiver.”
Many seniors are turned off when they hear the word “caregiver.” They think this implies that they can’t take care of themselves, and it can make them angry or resentful, something that you don’t need right now.
To make things easier on yourself and your loved one, glamorize the word by using something like “personal assistant.” This “assistant” will have the role of making things simpler and easier on your loved one because they deserve it!
Usually, this approach is more well-received compared to talk of a caregiver.
- Make your parent a part of the process.
If you don’t include your parent in the process, they will feel like they lack control. This is what often causes seniors to act out.
A better approach is to include your parent in the process of finding a caregiver. Ask them what types of qualities are important to them or the types of things they would like to be able to do with their new friend.
Your loved one will be spending a lot of time with this person, so it’s important for everyone to get along.
- Support a long-term relationship.
It’s not going to benefit your parent if you have different caregivers coming in and out. While there may be scheduling conflicts at times, you want to keep caregivers consistent as much as possible. That’s why it’s important to support a long-term relationship with your parent’s caregiver.
Keeping the lines of communication open is a great way to start. Let the person know what to expect, as well as any tips about dealing with your loved one.
Also keep your expectations realistic. There are many different services that caregivers provide, but you need to be upfront and honest about what you need. Work with the agency so that the best caregiver can be referred to you.
Many families find that once they make the decision to hire a caregiver for their parent, the process goes easier than expected. Caregivers offer invaluable peace of mind for the people that matter most in your life!