"I don't need any help!" Introducing Home Care to a Resistant Loved One
For many seniors, it’s difficult to accept the fact that they need help to remain safely in their own home. When people admit they need help, they feel as if they’re losing a part of their independence. New people coming into your loved one's home can be frightening. When a loved one needs in-home care, but they don’t want it or believe they need it, getting help for them is difficult, if not impossible. Often, care comes too late or at a point of decline that could have been delayed had the right resources been in place. Here are some ideas to help ease your loved one’s resistance to extra help:
- Talk with your loved one about why you need extra help. Be honest about your concerns and your needs. Your loved one may be more willing to try respite care if you’re honest and admit that you need help. That way, he or she realizes that additional help is very important to you and that accepting care helps you as the caregiver.
- Set a up “trial period”. Agree on how long you'll try the extra help to see if it works out. For example, you might suggest that the caregivers visit twice a week for two weeks. After the two weeks, have a discussion about how things are going and decide whether or not you’d like to continue. If you or your loved one don't like the caregiver, set a new time period to try someone else.
- Meet with a representative from the agency before making your final decision. Meeting someone face to face takes away some of the anxiety about who the new person will be. Stay with your loved one for the first visit with the new caregiver to help ease any anxiety. Usually, after the first visit, your loved one will realize that the "stranger" is there to help and will be more willing to accept him or her.
- Don’t refer to the caregiver as a “caregiver”. Some families introduce caregivers to their loved ones as a friend or companion.
- Include your loved one in the discussion about what they need help with. Ask what days and times work best for them.
- Involve the caregiver and your loved one in the creation of the care plan. Caregivers have experience in home care and know what other tasks or activities can benefit your loved one. He or she may see opportunities to accomplish several things that you did not think of, such as organizing a desk, cleaning a pantry, or taking your loved one out for ice cream.
If you are considering homecare services for your resistant loved one, click HERE to learn more about Home Helpers. We understand that not everyone is open to homecare and we have a plan to help smooth the transition.