Are you considering in-home care for elderly parents but don’t know how to talk to them about it? Discussing long-term care isn’t easy, but these tips will hopefully help.
Updated July 6, 2022
How To Introduce In-Home Care For Elderly Parents
As a family caregiver, you must juggle numerous responsibilities across many areas of your life. Besides caring for your parent, you also balance work, family, extracurricular activities, and more.
Of course, this leaves you with little time for yourself, which can quickly lead to caregiver burnout.
For this reason — and many others — in-home home care doesn’t just benefit your parent — it also helps you. A professional can assist with many aspects of your loved one’s care, making it easier to maintain other areas of your life without sacrificing your parent’s wellbeing.
Yet, despite the advantages, in-home care for elderly parents can be a touchy subject. If your loved one declines in-home care, it may be because they:
- Are reluctant to admit they need assistance
- Believe that home care is an unnecessary expense
- Think you doubt their ability to care for themself
- Feel like home care is an intrusion of privacy
You might feel like there’s little you can do to change your parent’s minds. However, you can do more than you think. So the next time you discuss home care for seniors, follow these tips. They can promote healthy and open communication between you and your loved one so you better understand each other’s needs.
Familiarize Your Parent With In-Home Care
One reason your parent might hesitate to receive in-home care is that they feel uncomfortable with an unfamiliar person in their home. In this case, it’s best to slowly introduce them to the idea rather than switching all at once.
First, invite the caregiver to your loved one’s home for a couple of hours each week. During this time, they can help with less personal activities, such as meal preparation, housework, or errands.
Then, gradually increase the amount of time and tasks the caregiver provides. For example, if your loved one requires high-touch care such as bathing or dressing, offer to be there with them the first few times the caregiver helps with these activities. Eventually, your loved one should feel more at ease with their caregiver.
Reassure Your Parents About The Cost Of In-Home Care
Home care costs can be a crucial deciding factor for many seniors and families. For example, your parent may recognize that professional help is best for both of you, but decline services for financial reasons.
Before you approach your parents, look for local and national organizations that can assist with some of the costs. Bringing a list of resources could offer reassurance and security. You can also contact their insurance provider to learn what their plan covers.
Here are a few places to start your search for help:
- State Medicaid programs for family caregivers offer waivers to eligible recipients to oversee their own in-home care services, including hiring a family caregiver.
- The National Family Caregiver Support Program funds state programs for informal caregivers caring for seniors in their homes.
- Family and Medical Leave Act offers up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off to those who qualify.
- Paid Caregiver Program Locator can help you find programs that compensate family caregivers.
- Veteran-Directed Home and Community-Based Services provides self-directed Home and Community Based Services to eligible veterans.
- Home Based Primary Care is available through the VA Medical Benefits Package and offers primary care, palliative care, rehabilitation, disease management, and care coordination to qualifying individuals.
- VA Aid and Attendance benefits are supplemental benefits added to monthly pension payments to assist with daily activities.
The Family Caregiver Alliance is another great resource. Visit their Services by State page for an extensive list of services for family and informal caregivers.
It’s also important to keep in mind that costs vary across care settings, location, level of care needed, and other factors. Still, overall, home care could be more affordable than facility care depending on your loved one’s situation.
Let Your Loved One Feel Heard
Think about the last time you and your parent discussed in-home care. When they spoke, did you fully listen to their concerns? Looking at the situation from your parent’s perspective can provide valuable insights and help you understand their reluctance. It also poses an excellent opportunity to include your parent and give them a say in the hiring process.
When your parent feels that you genuinely listen and care about their option, they may be more willing to see things from your point of view. So, when you approach the subject again, give your loved one a chance to say what they need to say, even if you disagree.
Hearing your loved one’s worries will provide a chance to put them to rest. However, while your instinct may be to counter your parent’s concerns at the moment, try to refrain until they’re finished. Even if you have a solution, you could come off as dismissive or derail the conversation before your parent has their say.
Ask Your Loved One's Doctor For Recommendations
There is no doubt that you have your loved one’s best interests in mind. Even so, that may not stop your parent’s reluctance. If this is the case, you could turn to your loved one’s medical team for support. Older adults typically trust these professionals, so your loved one may be more receptive if their doctor, not you, recommends home care as part of their overall care plan.
It’s best to discuss the topic while your loved one is present so they can hear the doctor’s advice first-hand. But if that’s not possible, you can request a doctor’s note or official office memo to put your loved one’s doubts to rest.
Medical professionals such as your loved one’s primary care physician may also connect you to local organizations that can guide you through the process. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it!
Explain How In-Home Care For Elderly Parents Helps You
Your parent might hesitate to accept outside help because they fear losing their independence or you doubt their ability to care for themself. In this situation, you can treat home care for seniors as something for your wellbeing rather than the other way around.
Your parent is likely aware of your many hats and busy schedule. So when you pose home care for seniors as a way to ease your workload, it can minimize the perceived threat to their independence and dignity. As a result, your parent may be more receptive.
MeetCaregivers Can Help Find In-Home Care For Elderly Parents
Home care for seniors is a valuable resource for family caregivers and elders. If your parent refuses help from an outside caregiver, there are several things you can do, including:
- Gradually introducing home care over time
- Minimizing the cost of home care
- Genuinely listening to your loved one’s concerns
- Getting support from a medical or care team professional
- Posing home care as something to help you, not them
Are you looking for more resources for seniors and caregivers? Check out our blog!