Getting older isn’t easy and accepting that you need extra help and assistance is even harder. Many parents and elderly relatives will often voice objections when it is suggested that they may need a carer to help them stay at home and this can cause friction and tension within the family.
We all want what is best for our parents but as they have spent their lives looking after others, it is not surprising that they do not like the idea of having to have someone else look after them. It is not uncommon for parents to reject the idea of home care packages of any kind, but it is important that you deal with their objections well in order to help them to stay safe and healthy in their homes as they age.
Introduce the idea gently
You should not be surprised if your initial suggestion of getting a carer is met with disapproval from your parents but this can turn into much more serious arguments if your parents feel as though you are forcing the idea on them and not listening to what it is that they want.
When you think it may be coming to the time that you need to discuss care options, you should introduce the idea gently and slowly to your parents. Suggest that they may benefit from someone helping them with mundane tasks such as cooking, shopping and cleaning; focussing on the positive benefits of having some help rather than the negatives you may be considering, such as your parent forgetting their evening meal or medication. Planting the idea that home care services are there to help them is more likely to make the idea more attractive.
Be patient and listen
Do not dismiss your parent’s objections offhand as this is only likely to cause more friction and you may find that your parents dig their heels in even more. Listen to your parent’s objections to find out their reasoning and then you can put a better case forward. For example, if your parents are concerned about losing their independence you can show how a carer can actually help them to become more independent by assisting them to go out or to enable them to remain in their own home for longer. Your parents are much more likely to see your point of view if they can see that you are also making the effort to listen to and understand theirs.
Getting the opinions of others
It may help your parents if they can hear the experience of other people who also have home care services. For example, if another relative or elderly friend has a carer, then you could get together with them and your parents to discuss their experience of having a care package. When your parents can see the positives from someone of their own age, in a similar position, they may be more inclined to look into their own options.
Include them at every step
Whether you are just looking at care package options or you are looking into specific carers or live in care agencies, you should include your parents throughout. The minute they think that you are taking their choices away, you are likely to be met with resistance. Give your parents your opinion but let them make any final decisions, after all, it is their lives and their care.