As parents and grandparents get older, they can understand that their ability to live independently is about to be negatively affected, and reactions can differ. Some will act in a healthy manner, accept the inevitable, and adapt, but others will rebel and refuse care, even if it’s in their best interests. This is especially true for anyone who is in the early stages of dementia. The memory loss and confusion can be frightening, leading to a negative personality shift that can be difficult to reconcile with the person you know.
If you’re trying to help a loved one understand and accept the help of in-home care, here are a few ways to help make the process easier:
1. Have Empathy.
The most important thing you can do is to put yourself in the shoes of your parent or grandparent. How would you feel if the family you raised was trying to take away your independence as an adult? You’d be rebellious and angry, frustrated that it’s happening in the first place, and a little scared, wouldn’t you?
Approach the conversation carefully, with compassion and understanding. Don’t presume you know what’s best for them. Instead, listen and pay attention to what they have to say about it.
2. Guide the Conversation.
A great way to move a conversation is by asking leading questions. Instead of saying “We want someone to come here to take care of you because you can’t do it anymore,” a statement that can result in someone being combative and resistant, try asking non-threatening questions instead:
“Wouldn’t it be nice if someone else cleaned the kitchen?”
“Don’t you think you’d like having someone help you run errands every week?”
“Aren’t you worried about running out of medication at the wrong time?”
Asking questions that make it difficult to say no can make it simpler to ease into a discussion of the benefits of in-home care.
3. Don’t Rush.
It can be hard to be patient in this scenario, especially if you’re worried about the safety of someone you love, but you can’t rush this. You’re asking someone to give up some of their independence, and that decision is a big one. Try to avoid setting deadlines or adding pressure, and work your way slowly to the discussion whenever it’s convenient.
4. Don’t Make The Decisions For Them.
Make it clear that they would be able to choose the caregiver, and the days and times of visits. If your parent or grandparent is agreeing to this huge decision of accepting in-home care, let them retain some independence by making the other decisions themselves. What activities would they want the most help with? Which days are the busiest for them? Do they prefer mornings or afternoons?
By bringing them in on the decision making, you’ll find that everything will go much smoother.
In the end, if you’re able to empathize with your parent or grandparent, help them still feel independent, keep their dignity intact, not pressure them, and help them to understand that you’re only trying to help them stay safe and comfortable, it can make the transition into in-home care much easier. Compassionate Care can assist with any questions your loved one may have and provide plenty of resources throughout the decision making process, so please feel free to contact us today!