Think through some of the little everyday tasks you’ve taken care of today without giving them a second thought: making the beds, running to the grocery store, stopping for coffee with a friend, preparing dinner. Now imagine no longer being able to accomplish these things independently, and the feelings of fear and frustration you’d experience.
Loss of freedom is one of the greatest fears for many older adults, and it’s the driving force behind the reluctance to consider the need for elder care when the time arises. Yet it’s a conversation that’s so important for family members to initiate when safety begins to be compromised.
The truth is, elder care assistance is not meant to reduce freedom and autonomy for seniors, but to enhance it. The staff at Senior HomeCare of Tucson are trained in offering needed support while empowering older adults to maintain as much independence as possible. And it’s this truth that’s so important to convey to seniors when beginning a dialogue about the benefits of professional elder care at home.
The principles below are instrumental in guiding the conversation about home care with your senior loved one to reach an agreement you can both feel comfortable with:
Realize it’s rarely a one-time conversation. Frustrations can arise in family members who raise the subject of home care with the expectation that their senior loved one will immediately agree to give it a try. The reality is, initial conversations about home care are often a matter of planting a seed, with the understanding that it will likely take multiple discussions before a consensus is reached. Point out your concerns in a non-confrontational way, introduce the idea of home care, and then step back and allow time for the senior to digest what you’ve shared.
Avoid the “my way or the highway” approach. Keeping an open mind to the senior’s concerns is vital to reaching an amicable agreement about the need for care. While you may have mapped out in your mind the perfect care solution, listen to your loved one’s thoughts, feelings, and objections, and try to reach a compromise. For instance, the senior may balk at the idea of being helped at bath time by a caregiver, but may be open to some help with housework and meal preparation. As the senior and caregiver get to know one another, a level of trust develops that can ease the transition into a higher degree of care.
Rely on trusted professionals. If your loved one remains reluctant to accepting the need for assistance, it’s worthwhile to contact a member of her medical team to explain your concerns and request the doctor’s help in recommending care to the senior. Hearing advice and guidance from a medical perspective may carry more weight with the senior than hearing it from a family member.
Senior HomeCare of Tucson, Tucson senior services provider for the surrounding cities, is available for an in-home meeting with your senior loved one and family, to answer any questions and address any concerns. Contact us online or call us at 520-355-4787 to learn more about our wide variety of services. We’d love the opportunity to meet you and learn how we can help you and senior loved ones. For a full list of all of the communities we serve, please visit our Service Area page.