Home care? I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it
Many seniors resist home care because they feel they should be able to manage things on their own. Whether they should or not isn’t really the question. There’s no rule stating that seniors should be able to manage on their own. Using the word “should” under these circumstances sometimes helps people avoid facing the word “can’t.”
If you are the adult child of a senior who is needing a little extra help around the house, you might try posing some different kinds of questions with your loved one. It could mean all the difference in being able to support their desire to remain independent. Your desire to avoid exhausting yourself as a family caregiver will be well served, too!
How long do you want to remain independently in your home/apartment?
People who truly want to remain in their homes generally respond with words like forever or I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to die here. And that’s fine. There could be some obstacles to making that possible, though. Forethought and planning ahead can help. Following up with more specific questions can pave the way to meaningful discussion. And that can pave the way to putting a workable care plan in place for the long haul.
“Mom, dad, what steps are you taking right now to ensure that can happen for you?”
This is just about the time a deer-in-the-headlights look may flash across your folks’ faces. You’ll know you’ve work to do if the response is a wave of the hand and “I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.” It’s obviously important not to argue. Getting into a tug-o-war when mom or dad dig in their heels won’t solve anything. It could actually make the situation worse.
Are you willing to talk about putting some plans in place before things aren’t fine?
It takes a lot of patience and, in some cases, an iron will to set aside family dynamics and become the calm voice of reason. Try acknowledging how important the wish to stay at home feels, and forge ahead:
There’ll be a lot of bridges to cross and I know you’re fine at the moment. I’d like it to be possible that things remain fine for you. Are you willing to talk about putting some plans in place before things aren’t fine?
It isn’t easy for anyone to say, “No, I’m not willing,” even when entrenched. If you frame your questions so an affirmative response is easier to say, you can gain a lot of ground very quickly in your conversations. Avoiding use of the word why helps remove potentially defensive reactions. That allows the question to come through more clearly. Structuring framework or boundaries around questions helps keep the focus.
Rather than using the word why, try using how or what
Using the word why can trigger defensiveness in some conversations. Stating that your senior should get help around the house can set off an emotional response, making conversation more difficult.
What does it feel like when you think about someone who isn’t me taking you to get your groceries once a week? (Basically says, “This isn’t going to be easy for either of us” and sets the boundary that it won’t always be you helping to run errands.).
When you are no longer driving, what’s the best way for getting to your appointments while I’m working? (Implies the inevitable loss of driving without saying “when you can no longer” or “when you aren’t able.” Sets boundary around when adult child will or will not be available.).
When you think about someone coming to do light housekeeping or cooking with you, what kind of reaction do you have? (Allows expression of concerns and sets boundaries. Notice use of “with you” rather than “for you.”).
Loads of errands, cleaning, cooking, appointments, fun excursions, and some wonderful companionship can happen with just a few hours a week. Home care takes the pressure off family caregivers. It helps seniors establish and maintain new relationships. In-home care lends a sense of safety and confidence to seniors who really want to stay at home as long as possible.
Share these top five reasons to choose in-home care with your loved one. Then contact One2One Home Care for more information.