As your parents grow older, you may find yourself in a position of role reversal where you are suddenly needed to care for your parents. No one is ever truly ready for this event, but if your parents do require in-home care, it's good to know they can age at home, as there is a support system available.
How To Start A Conversation About Needing In-Home Care
It's important to start by having this discussion at the right time when both you and your parents are relaxed and have time to talk. Bringing up the idea when you're dropping in to be sure that they've had breakfast and slept well, is likely not the best time. You'll want to have the opportunity to give your parents your full and undivided attention as you will probably need to keep your wits about you and think strategically to address their objections.
Start the conversation by addressing your concerns about your parent's welfare. Remember to use specific examples and not speak in generalities. For instance, your father may have fallen, or your mother may have missed a doctor's appointment. Your father might have missed taking his medication, or your mother may not have bathed in over a week. Whatever the situation, make sure you use concrete examples without judgment. Speak objectively, observing the situation and not judging it, as your judgment will increase the number of objections they bring up
Talk about the advantages your parents will be able to enjoy if they have in-home care, including being able to spend greater quality time with you. It's important to focus on their ability to remain independent at home as many elderly desire to age at home and not in a retirement facility or nursing home. Consider making the conversation about you as opposed to them. In other words, explain how it will make you feel better if someone's at their home watching out for their health and well-being, so you don't have to worry as much.
Suggest that you and your parents bring someone into the home for care on a trial basis. This allows your parents to experience the positive effects of having someone at home with them without having to imagine what it may or may not be like. A short-term basis also provides your parents with the opportunity to realize that in-home care is not something to fear.
Have The Conversation To Avoid The Risks
Unfortunately, if you leave the conversation until the last minute when your parents desperately need someone in the home to help care for them, it can increase their risk for injury or admission into the hospital. Waiting until the last minute may also mean a caregiver is not immediately available to work in your parents' home, leaving the majority of care to you and your family.
Unfortunately, many families are ill-prepared to provide full-time care for their parents themselves. This leaves caregivers vulnerable to ill-health as they struggle to balance caring for their own families, their parents, and potentially working as well. Caregiver burn-out can have unintended consequences for your parents as they won't receive the quality care they need. As a full-time caregiver for your parents, you're unable to maintain your personal relationship with them, which only adds to the stress both you and your parents experience.
Are You Ready to Hire an In-Home Caregiver?
You may be ready to hire someone to help care for your parents, but your parents are not. Call our professional recruiters at Harmony Home Care, and we will help you broach the subject with your parents and suggest a trial basis to demonstrate the benefits of having someone in their home to care for their needs while allowing you to have a personal and close relationship with them.