The Difficult Conversation of In-Home Care
The transition from cared for to caregiver is rarely an easy one. When faced with an elderly loved on suddenly requiring more aid then one would if they were able to live totally independently we often find ourselves in the center of many tough decisions and conversations.
How does Mom go from cooking a Thanksgiving feast for 15 every year to suddenly needing meals on wheels delivered to her door? When did Dad go from mowing his lawn to using a walker to get around? Time has suddenly snuck up on us and often times we can feel less than prepared in our new roles as the caregiver for a person whom has cared for us a majority of our lives.
Sometimes the transition from independence to dependence is gradual and it's little things like the fourth phone call from your loved one in a day to go over the same thing that sets of warning bells. Other times something as drastic as frantic trip to the emergency room after a fall is the signal that help is needed. Whatever the situation, the initial conversation with your loved one about home health care can be tricky waters to navigate. This can be a very emotionally exhausting time for both you and your loved one. They're faced with a significant change in their daily lifestyle and you probably have valid concerns about your own resources and ability to care for them properly.
While introducing the idea of a home health aide or companion can be a sensitive topic, it does not have to be a negative experience. Some things to consider when sitting down with your loved one:
- Approach the conversation as neutrally as possible. Avoid talking to your loved one about assistance when they're having a particularly rough day or either of you is upset.
- Remember to listen to their concerns and try to under where they are coming from. Remember, the parent who used to drive you to your friend's house for sleepovers is now being told a caregiver will take him to the store. That can be a lot to process.
- Focus on the positives. Are there things they used to do that they haven't been able to lately? In-home care may be able to reintroduce some of those activities back in to their daily lives.
- What are their personal goals at this stage in life?
- Remind them and yourself, this is not a punishment! This is just a new season in life your family is adjusting to as a team.
- Allow them to be a part of the decision-making process. Especially when you're interviewing a nurse registry and the aide they would like to refer to your loved one.
Even with these helpful guidelines, you may find your loved one is just not receptive to care. That is when you may find it useful to allow an experienced care professional to step in. Many clients find it useful to have the reassurance of an outside, neutral third party when introducing the concept of care at home. VIP America would love to provide you with a complimentary assessment to help your loved one and you go over your options and make informed decisions on the type of home health schedule that will best suit your unique situation.
Remember, this is a difficult time, but we are confident that the right company and the right caregivers can help restore peace and order into the lives of our clients.