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How to Talk to Senior Family Members about In-Home Care

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Nobody likes to think about getting older, but it is an inevitable, inescapable fate for most people. Regardless of your senior family member’s health and abilities, there is one thing that they should be able to maintain as they age and that is their dignity. An in home caregiver can help make sure that happens.

In-Home care offers a wide range of services that you can schedule to help make life easier. You can pick and choose which services best meet the needs of your family member without reducing the quality of care. That is because caring for your senior family member is the primary goal of the in-home helper. Here are some tips for having “the talk” about in-home care with a senior in your family.

  • Make it a discussion. This will make the talk seem less threatening. Start the conversation by acknowledging that it is a difficult topic, and reassure them that you want what they want. Then ask them what they want – and more importantly, what they need.
  • Use non-confrontational language. Instead of “nurse”, use the term “helper”. This term is not only friendlier but it is also true. An in-home caregiver does just that. They help your elderly family members do things that they have trouble doing for or by themselves.
  • Confront the what-if’s. What if they need help pulling heavy, wet bedding from the washing machine? What if they fall and unable to call for help? This is also a good time in the discussion to mention that you know they can do a lot of things on their own, and ask what happens if that changes?
  • Start small with basic needs. Suggest they try it out by having someone come help with a chore they find particularly difficult or need help with, like laundry or running errands. An in-home helper can drive your senior family member to places like the grocery store, the doctor’s office, or the pharmacy.
  • Know their health situation and needs. If your senior family member has an ongoing disease or condition, such as Alzheimer’s, then in-home care can mean the difference between staying in their home and a premature move into a facility. The more information you have about their health, the better your argument for in-home caregiver services.

Once they agree to in-home services, then start researching. Have them ask their elderly peers if they have recommendations. You can also ask their doctor’s office and your community council on aging for advice as well. In-home care is something that can benefit your entire family. With someone there during the day to help the senior family member, the rest of the family can focus on their responsibilities, such as career and education.

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