Your loved one naturally wants to remain in his own home as long as possible. Unfortunately, living alone unassisted isn't always safe. There are numerous hazards and dangers associated with living alone. For some, moving into an assisted living facility is the best option. However, there are many seniors who are capable of living at home with the help of a caregiver. Telling a loved one they need care is a delicate topic.
You don't want to make them feel cornered or helpless. Since it is ultimately their decision, you want to guide them and make them feel comfortable with the idea. Out of concern, it's important to discuss it even if it's tough for you.
- Plant the seed. Casually mention the idea to your loved one about having someone come to the home to provide help with daily activities. See how he reacts to the concept of having a professional caregiver.
- Explain the caregiver's role. Maybe she isn't fully aware of what the caregiver will or will not be doing. A caregiver isn't coming to take away her independence or privacy. The caregiver can help with basic needs, administering medication, housekeeping, transportation, etc. The misconception of what a caregiver does can lead to feelings of confusion. Maybe she feels there is a stereotype associated with caregivers. Be sure to openly discuss all her fears and concerns about hiring outside help.
- Highlight the benefits of a caregiver. Maybe your loved one doesn't like doing dishes or cooking dinner. Discuss how a caregiver can take on these not-so-fun tasks freeing up more time for her to do things he actually enjoys.
- Allow him to remain in control. If he does not want a caregiver, leave it alone for now. You can't force it or make the decision for him without the legal authority to do so. You don't have to drop the issue for good, but temporarily let it go. Revisit the idea of a caregiver in the future. Sometimes it just takes some time for seniors to come around.
As you are learning to deal with the changes that aging can bring, be patient with yourself, patient with your loved one, seek advice and answers to questions, and remember you are not in this alone. Contact a Caring Senior Service team member today!