Get seniors to accept in-home care so you can take breaks
You desperately need regular breaks, but your older adult absolutely refuses an in-home caregiver. What can you do?
Seniors often won’t admit they need help, even if they’re struggling with everyday tasks. In-home care can be a sensitive subject that leads to arguments or an immediate shutdown when you bring it up.
Your older adult might see it as a waste of money, an insult to their abilities, or an invasion of privacy.
We found excellent advice from Family Caregiver Alliance with 8 ways to make the transition easier.
There are helpful tips on how to overcome this challenge and make in-home care for seniors more acceptable – even if your older adult initially said no.
Here, we highlight the key points from the article and include additional insights and suggestions.
8 ways to ease into in-home care for seniors
- Start slowly and allow time for them to get used to the idea
- Your older adult might need time to adjust to the idea of having someone in their house.
- To ease the transition, start off slowly. At first, have the personal support worker only come a few hours each week and focus on less personal tasks.
- Then, add hours and additional tasks as your older adult becomes more comfortable with the idea and that person.
- Listen to your older adult’s fears and reasons they don’t want in-home care
- Instead of shutting down objections right away, let your older adult express their feelings.
- They’re more likely to cooperate when they’ve been heard and know that their opinion matters.
- Understanding their concerns also helps you address those fears. Even better, involve them in the hiring process so they can help choose the person who will be caring for them.
- Help them retain dignity by saying it’s for you, not them
- If you present the idea of in-home care as something that helps you rather than them, seniors might be more receptive.
- That way they’re less likely to feel that they’re losing independence or aren’t capable.
- Use the doctor’s authority and say that it’s a prescribed service
- Many older adults respect authority figures like doctors and may be more willing to accept home care if they think the doctor has prescribed it.
- Tell them that’s what the doctor said, create a fake “prescription,” or ask the doctor’s office for an “official” note on their stationery – whatever works best.
- Use housekeeping needs as an excuse
- Pretending that you need help with housekeeping and other chores is another way to ease an in-home caregiver into the house.
- That makes it seem like it’s about your needs rather than theirs.
- Pretend that it’s a free service
- If your older adult isn’t directly paying for in-home care, you could pretend that it’s free.
- That makes it more likely that they’ll be open to it since they’ll be taking advantage of a free service.
- Introduce the caregiver as a friend
- Another approach is to introduce the in-home caregiver as a friend of yours who needs some company.
- That takes away the stigma of needing help and helps them trust the caregiver.
- Tell them it’s a temporary arrangement
- It may be more acceptable to start using in-home care if your older adult thinks it’s only temporary.
- Once the in-home caregiver becomes a part of their routine and they adjust to the idea, it’ll be easier to continue using the services.