Taking care of elderly parents at home becomes challenging as they age. Children want to give the best care to those who raised them. But they struggle to balance work and managing their households with caring for ageing parents. Many feel the guilt of not giving their parents the care they deserve.
That is why many families may decide to arrange professional in-home care for their parents. Home care for elderly parents can be the best option for them, especially if they wish to remain independent within familiar surroundings.
However, not all seniors feel comfortable with getting a caregiver for support. They may be wary of strangers in their homes, especially if they suffer from dementia. The presence of a caregiver may force them to acknowledge the extent of the care they need, making them feel vulnerable. They may feel that their families do not want to care for them anymore.
All of this can lead to fear, anger and lashing out at both the family members and the caregivers. Here are a few tips on how to talk to your parents about arranging care for them.
1. Recognize When Professional Care May Be Needed for Your Parents
Taking care of your parents is good. But, there comes a time when it is just not good enough. With time you may start noticing increasing signs of the struggle that they are facing. It could be poor hygiene, cluttered kitchens and dents on the car. They can no longer cope and need help. The biggest sign is when they start asking their children for help more often than they did previously.
Once you start noticing these signs, that is when you know that taking care of old parents yourself is no longer an option and they need proper care. The first tip on how to talk to your parents is to have an open discussion on care topics before they face cognitive changes. A plan discussed and proposed with a clear mind is the best approach for optimal care.
Of course, having a conversation about getting caregivers with seniors who have been independent for many years will not be easy. The right moment, right words and the right logical arguments need to be given for them to agree to get the proper care.
2. Find the Right Moment for the Discussion
While children or family members may notice that the seniors can no longer cope on their own, it does not mean that the elderly themselves have noticed that they need help and are open to having that discussion.
For the discussion to hire a caregiver to be fruitful, the second tip on how to talk to your parents is to find a proper opening. You cannot just broach the subject without tact. Opening with reminiscing about a memory attached to a prized possession can be a good warm-up. You can keep going with the conversation and bring up care options. You can start by discussing how you have noticed different signs such as clutter or their repeatedly wearing the same clothes.
It is critical to carry this conversation calmly. You need to be prepared for a hostile response and annoyance. Your parents may feel that you think of them as burdens and that you are ungrateful. They raised you and to them, it can seem as if you cannot care for them yourself and want to pass on the responsibilities to someone else. You need to reassure them that this is not the case and that you are worried about something life-threatening happening to them as you are not always with them.
If you have siblings, then you should discuss your parents’ care options with them first. You and your siblings can discuss how to talk to your parents about this sensitive topic. It can help if all the children and grandchildren are present in the discussion. Keep it casual so there is no stress and the parents do not feel ganged upon.
3. Discuss All Options for Care
In many seniors’ minds, the only care options may be retirement homes or long-term care facilities. So they may quickly assume that you are asking them to move out of their home to some care facility. One of the tips on how to talk to your parents about this topic is reassurance. Reassure them that there are alternate options. Tell them that they can get a part-time or a live-in caregiver. Tell them about the benefits of a caregiver moving in with them. The caregiver will help with household chores and can accompany them to social and medical appointments. They will be able to retain their independence and have visitors anytime they want.
If you are using an agency such as ConsidraCare to source a caregiver, you can assure them that it will be skilled and vetted professional and matched to their needs.
Be ready for your parents to be in denial about needing a caregiver when you first broach the subject. Tactfully, the children need to keep bringing up for discussion the need for help every few days. If you bring the topic up too often, your parents will lash out and get angry which is not good. Give them time to adjust to this possible change in their life.
4. Avoid Arguments
As mentioned earlier, your parents may get angry and lash out if you mention bringing in a caregiver. You need to stay extremely calm otherwise the conversation may get heated and turn into a verbal match. When the discussion starts turning into an argument, stop talking about it. Give them time to get used to the idea of getting care.
Dealing with elderly parents especially when they are feeling vulnerable is hard. They need to be assured repeatedly that they are not a burden. That their children are just worried for their safety and comfort. You should keep your temper in check and let them vent if they get emotional. It will help them feel better.
Provide them with information about all the care options slowly, over time, without overloading them. Let them get comfortable with the concept and ask them about their input on the care options. Do not criticize them and do not belittle their feelings and wishes.
5. Discuss Finances
Independent adults in their old age do not like discussing finances with their children. But this discussion is necessary while considering professional care. Home care for elderly parents is a long-term financial commitment. So, the financial discussion is a must.
Help your parents understand. that professional care at home comes at a certain price but it allows them to stay in their home longer and maintain the independence they have always had.
You may need to come up with a budget and a financial plan. Your parent’s bank or investments manager may already have a specialized financial advisor for seniors, who can help with coming up with the best options to fund long-term care for your parents.
It is critical to reach an agreement with your parents and have a budget in place before you arrange care. It is a family decision and the seniors’ input matters the most. Several discussions may need to take place between the family and the seniors before they agree to care at home. Be persistent and sensitive to their concerns and needs while you are having these discussions.
Want to Learn More?
Please reach out to us at email@example.com, or call us at 1-855-410-7971 and we will be happy to discuss the care needs of your loved ones, help you decide upon the best options, and guide you on how to have a discussion with them around getting professional care.