There might come a time when an aging senior in your family would require help at home. Getting an older adult to agree to home care can be tricky but there are ways in which you can introduce it.
But before we get to ways to introduce home care for seniors, there’s something we need to emphasize. It’s a sensitive topic for senior adults. That’s why it requires a deft touch or else the debate would descend into arguments.
Why seniors object to home care
The older adult in your family might reject home care because, to them, it signals an end to their freedom. Secondly, some aging seniors might see it as an insult. After all, what you’re implying is that they need help to do even basic tasks.
Seniors would also consider the whole thing a waste of money. If someone else is partly or fully paying for senior home care, aging adults might object to it.
Finally, for some, it’s an invasion of their privacy. With home care, someone will be there to monitor their activities and movements. Some senior citizens wouldn’t be happy about it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it.
7 ways to introduce home care for seniors
These seven steps will help you introduce the idea of home care to the seniors in your family.
Start slowly and give them time
The seniors in your family would need some time to get used to the idea. Remember that it’s a massive transition for them and that’s why you should start slowly. You could have someone come in for a few hours a week to help out on more general tasks.
Once the older adult is comfortable with it, you can add hours and include more personal tasks.
Have empathetic conversations
Put yourself in their shoes and you’ll understand that the first thing you need is empathy. Listen to the older adult’s fears, doubts, and reasons for rejecting home care. Don’t shut down their objections. Give them space and actively listen.
Ideally, you should do it in person rather than over the phone. It becomes easier to understand their reactions and comfort them. Make them feel valued and later, address their fears or doubts one by one. You can also seek their help in the hiring process.
Present it as what you need and not what they need
Getting home care for even basic tasks can come across as a loss of dignity. That’s why you shouldn’t present it as something the older adult needs. This will be hugely counterproductive.
Tell them that it’s what you need to do and that it will make things easier for you. This helps them understand and appreciate it.
Get a doctor’s prescription
Older adults will be more likely to accept the idea of home care if they believe a doctor has recommended it after going through the medical history and health condition.
You can get a doctor to prescribe it or if that doesn’t work, get a fake prescription on a doctor’s official stationery.
Give housekeeping requirements as an excuse
Tell the older adult that you require help with housekeeping and they will be more receptive to your idea. It’s reasonable to expect help with all the chores in the house and the senior family member wouldn’t stand in the way.
This is another way of stating that getting home care is something your need. That makes it easier for the older member to agree to it.
Present the caregiver as your friend
If you face resistance from the older adult about getting home care for seniors, you can introduce the caregiver as one of your friends. Tell them that your friend needs company and the senior citizen may be willing to go with it.
This also makes it easy for the older adult to justify the move to their friends. They can simply say that one of your friends has been coming over.
Make it look like a temporary arrangement
Another way to get started with home care for seniors is by presenting it as a temporary arrangement. This is always helpful if the older adult has had a recent medical emergency or hospital visit.
Once the caregiver becomes friendly with the senior adult and starts helping them with their chores, they will be more likely to let them continue.
While it’s difficult, these steps should help you to convince the aging adult in your family to opt for home care for seniors.