If you are searching for care for your loved one, chances are it is because they have come to a point where they are dealing with some sort of defeat. Perhaps mental confusion, a physical changes or hardest of all, a loss of independence. As anyone can imagine, these losses are difficult to understand and deal with. Due to that fact, accepting care can bring about stubborn behavior. Your aging parent or loved one may have concerns about associated cost or think it is a sign of weakness to accept help, or even feel they are becoming a burden to the family.
What you need to do is figure out the best way to approach your loved one about the need for care, and assure them they do not need to worry. Here are some tips that the Mayo Clinic has come up with to start communicating about the need for care.
- Choose a time when you and your loved one are relaxed.
- Ask questions about your loved one’s preferences. For example what type of help they want. Do they have any preferences?
- Enlist the help of family members.
- Do not assume that your loved one is unable to discuss care preferences.
- Don’t give up. If they do not want to discuss the issue the first time, try again later.
- Suggest a trial run. Letting your loved one meet a caregiver can really help.
- Enlist the help of a professional. Your loved one may be more willing to listen to the advice of a doctor, law or care manager about the importance of receiving care.
- Explain your needs. They may be more likely to accept care if they know you are the one who needs a bit of help.
- Pick your battles. Focus on the big picture.
- Explain how care may prolong independence.
- Help your loved one cope with the loss of independence. Help them understand that having someone around is a good thing. It will help them stay active, maintain relationships and develop new physically appropriate interests.
These strategies are not suitable when dealing with a loved one who has dementia (we will have a post about that in the near future.) The hope is that you are having the “care” conversation early. Being proactive about care can take a lot of the stress out of the equation. You feel satisfied with the idea that your loved one will have the care they need. Your loved one will be comfortable with the situation by the time it is a real necessity. One more thing to consider, keep your loved one involved. They are just as scared as you are. Explaining every step of the way can help promote a positive outcome.
Best wishes for the New Year!
-Georgetown Home Care