If we ask our elderly parents about their preferences for living arrangements, it comes as no surprise that most want to stay right where they are. Survey after survey shows that over 90% of elders want to remain in their own homes as they age and most do unless there’s no longer any alternative.
If this is the case with your parents, then you may be faced with how to go about making in-home care a viable option, especially if there are no family members with the time, distance, or resources to act as caregivers. Bringing in outside help is frequently not a choice that many elderly are agreeable to at first, in spite of the obvious need. A common objection is that help is not needed and they are very capable of managing on their own. Parents may see any outside assistance as a threat to their independence or an invasion of their privacy.
If your parents are both living in their own home together, direct your attention to the parent who is less in need. For example, if your father needs the most assistance and the burden falls often on your mother – approach him by suggesting it would certainly be helpful to mother if she had some in-home care assistance with cleaning, cooking, etc. thereby freeing her to be available for him.
Hiring somebody to help with household chores is most often a better choice than the alternative, and in-home care is certainly less threatening to independence than assisted living. Parents may be more receptive if you place the emphasis on getting help with housework, grocery shopping, driving to doctor appointments, and other errands. Your hope is that they will see the value of having assistance and develop a trusting relationship with their caregiver. If they can develop that trust, they are more likely to accept assistance with their personal care when it is needed further down the road.
Another approach when your parents need assistance staying independent at home is to focus on you needing the help, not them. Many parents will bend over backward to make life easier for their kids – but won’t consider the help for themselves. Suggest that bringing in a housekeeper or caregiver would ease your worry about managing daily cleaning, shopping, meals, and laundry.
Take stock of your parents’ needs and how best to meet those needs for personal care while allowing them as much independence as possible. One of the most difficult times of our lives as adult children will be helping our parents as they experience the decline of social interaction, health, and independence. Convincing them to accept outside caregivers and successfully implementing that help will go a long way toward continuing the loving relationship of parent and adult child.
Next Steps: Find out how you or your loved one can live at home comfortably and safely. Contact Family Resource Home Care, learn more about our Home Care Services, or call us at 800.775.6380 for a free consultation.