So you’re worried about having “the talk” with your parents.
No, not that one. The other one.
Maybe you’ve known for a while that your mom isn’t quite as independent as she used to be. Or maybe you drop by your dad’s place for a visit and discover that it’s not as clean as it usually is. Maybe it’s even a little dangerous, with various fall hazards strewn throughout the house.
This is tough. Nobody wants to give up independence. And you sure don’t want to be the catalyst behind it. If you’re fearing having the talk with your parents, here are a few tips that might help.
Give choices: For some people, it’s important that they still feel in control of their lives. If possible, let your parent help decide the days and times that an at-home care assistant will come over, along with some of the tasks the aide will perform. Here’s what you might say: “We want to make your life easier so you can continue to enjoy what you love. What times would be most convenient for you to have someone drop by and help?”
Teach trust: Remind your parents that they raised you to make wise choices, and that you have their best interests at heart. Here’s one way the conversation could go: “We need to make sure where you’re at is safe and healthy for you. As long as you’re going to be here, living on your own, which is what we all want, you’re going to have to give a little and trust the decisions being made for you are for your best interest.”
Move slowly: Perhaps your parent just isn’t ready for the big life change that hiring a licensed caregiver implies. Offer to start slowly, perhaps with just one or two small tasks per week. “Yes, having someone here all the time certainly could be challenging. What if we just have her drop by on Tuesdays and Fridays to check in and take you for a walk?”
Turn the tables: An in-home caregiver can actually increase independence, because it gives your parents more time to do the things they enjoy while aging in place. And, of course, it’s easier for them to be at home than in an assisted-living facility. A sample conversation: “Dad, if someone else is preparing your meals and helping with laundry, you can spend that time with your friends at the senior center or working in your shop! Let’s make a list together of the things you would do if you had more time.”
Be patient and understanding: This is probably the most important and the most difficult. Once you’ve decided what’s best for your mom or dad, it can be incredibly frustrating when they keep throwing up roadblocks. But the more patient and kind you can be, the more they will see that what you’re doing is out of love.
If you’re looking for a Whatcom County caregiver who can help your mom or dad be more independent or comfortable at home, give Take My Hand At-Home Care a call. We’re a locally owned business that specializes in making every day a better day for those who need it.