How To Talk To Your Elderly Parents About In-Home Care

August 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

The fear of losing independence seems to be one of the top concerns for the elderly. It’s hard to accept the fact that they need help performing simple tasks they have been able to do the majority of their lives. When their children or family tries to suggest in-home care, a whole host of emotions can surface and usually results in an awkward or even heated situation.

If in-home care is a necessity for your elderly family member, there are ways to avoid an argument. Below is advice on how to bring up the topic of in-home care with elderly family members. Hopefully these tips will help you and your family to painlessly resolve the touchy subject.

  • Easy does it – If the idea of in-home care is not welcomed by your elder, try to suggest hiring a professional to handle smaller tasks. Start with the tasks that your family member enjoys the least. Examples of jobs that you can start with are lawn care, window washing, laundry, etc.
  • Timeframe – Suggest you hire in-home care for a short period of time as a trial period. “Mom, why don’t we hire a housekeeper for three months to see how you like it?”
  • Elder In Chief – Try to help your elder feel they are still in charge. Refer to anyone you hire for in-home care as an assistant or employee.
  • Watch Your Language – How you talk about in-home care can make a difference. Describe in-home care as a luxury or service they deserve after all their hard work. Try to gather positive testimonials from their peers. Get the approval of doctors of family members they trust and respect.
  • Don’t Boss Them Around – You don’t like being ordered around and neither do your elderly parents. Try to include them in the decision making process. One tactic that may help is to do your research into in-home care and then present the two or three best options and let your elder make the final decision.
  • Ask Why – Don’t be afraid to ask your elderly relative why they are resisting help. You may be surprised that the answer is easy to address.
  • A Tad Bit of Guilt – Not that we are suggesting you play mind games with your elders, but it is not a bad thing to tell them that you worry about their safety and would have peace-of-mind if they accepted help in their home.

Lastly, you can always call on a professional to help mediate the situation. There are many services in the community, including our office, that can evaluate the elder’s situation, offer advice and suggest in-home care services that are appropriate and reputable.

The Law Office of Dawn M. Weekly, PC is located in Sandwich, Illinois and focuses on elder law and Life Care Planning for clients.  The office may be reached by calling 815-570-2334.

   Every day of every week, Weekly Law is there for you.

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