Many elderly people are choosing to age at home. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for many older adults to talk about any health issues they may be experiencing, which makes it difficult for family members to know what is going on. Not only is it difficult for your aging loved one to acknowledge that they may need help with their day-to-day activities, but it is often even more difficult to introduce them to the idea of hiring a professional in-home caregiver for help. If you have begun to think that your elderly loved one can benefit from outside help, here are a few tips on how to approach the subject.
Visit Primary Care Physician
If at all possible, try to discuss the health of your family member with their primary care physician. This is typically someone they have known and trusted for several years, so they will have a better insight into their health issues. If they also show concern for your loved ones health, they are likely to help you by talking to them, oftentimes with you being present and they can explain why in-home care may be a good option for them.
Make Independence a Primary Focus
Explain why hiring in-home care is a good way for your family member to maintain their independence in their own home. Sometimes, this is easier said than done, so you may have to be prepared with a few examples. For instance, have they already fallen a time or two? Discuss what may happen if they fall again, especially if they are home alone-a fall could lead to broken bones, hospitalization, surgery and a length recovery period. You could also use this method if they frequently forget to take their medications, miss doctor appointments or have difficulties getting in and out of the bath.
Point Out the Advantages
Making quality in-home care desirable for your family member will make the process of discussing their health and your concerns much easier. For example, gently bring up the fact that hiring in-home care is a much better option than having to move to an assisted living center or nursing home; they can instead remain at home, which is much less costly and they will receive one-on-one attention when the caregiver is there. Also point out advantages, such as in-home caregiver will be available to drive them where they need to go, so they no longer have to wait until it is convenient for a friend or family to drive them, they will have companionship; someone to talk to, work in the garden with or simply go for a walk with.
If your family member is leaning towards the idea of in-home care to help with their health issues, but you are still struggling with them being fully convinced, consider testing it out on a trial basis. Try hiring an in-home caregiver on a short-term basis, such as after a fall. This will give your family member an opportunity to understand that having a caregiver is not something they should be embarrassed about or be fearful of; it often leads to them being more receptive to receiving ongoing care.