Ten Ways to Convince Parents to Accept Home Care Assistance

Parent fighting you over getting home care assistance? elderly woman fighting

This is the second part of our guest series by Ryan McEniff about some of the common reasons elderly parents resist hiring home caregivers.  Here are 10 approaches adult children can use to convince parents to get home care assistance without a fight: 

1)  Patience.  You must be patient and listen to your parents’ concerns and objections to the idea of home care.  You may have brought the idea up casually, now listen and find out the reasons why they are resisting.  For many this is not a quick decision, it may take weeks or months to convince them to agree to help.

2)  Observe.  Watch them as they live in their own home.  What are they able to do well on their own, and what are they struggling with?  Take mental examples of how home care will help make their lives easier.

3)  Reach out.  Look to websites and other resources. Elder Care is great starting point, as is the National Council on Aging.  Both sites have a lot of resources when it comes to finding caregivers and information on the diseases and various limitations that seniors experience.  Also, reach out to friends and other family members that may have gone through similar experiences.

4)  Geriatric Care ManagersGCMs can make a world of difference when it comes to finding help.  Their job is to be a resource for families when a multitude of decisions need to be made.  The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers is a great place to get more information or EasyLiving can help set up a care consultation with one of our Aging Wisely geriatric care managers.

5)  Unity. Meet with siblings to determine how other members of the family feel about the situation.  Discuss what the outcome of the meeting should be before you actually discuss this with your parents.  When everyone is unified, it shows the parent that everyone has the same concerns, and wants what is best for them.  A divided family only causes more problems, and does not focus on the main objective, which is getting help for your parent.  It can also be helpful to have a mediator.

6)  Be positive.  Point out what your parents still can do without assistance, and mention that to them.  Showing how independent they will be even with some help may make the difference in determining if they want to proceed with home care.

7)  Conversation timing.  Deciding when to have this talk with your parent is something to consider.  It is best not to do this at a time of crisis.  It is ok to bring up your concerns, and then set a future date where you will revisit the issues under less pressure.

8)  It’s a favor for you.  Switching the conversations from ‘this is something you need’ to ‘I know you don’t need it, but this would make me feel better’ makes a parent feel like they are doing you the favor.  They can say to themselves ‘I don’t need this help, but I am doing it for my daughter.’  The end goal is getting your parent help, not making them admit they need it.

9)  Housekeeper, not Caregiver.  Calling a caregiver that is coming over to do laundry, make meals, and clean up a housekeeper can let your parent justify the help by saying it’s a choice of convenience, and not need.

10)  Start Small.  Starting small with the amount of care can let your parent test the waters.  Your parent might connect with the caregiver on a personal level, and want them to come around more.  Even better, they may also find that the help makes their life easier and decide on more hours with the caregiver.

The decision to get home care is never an easy one.  Finding the right home care provider and caregiver is critical to the success of in home care.  When you do find the right caregiver to help with a parent it can relieve a lot of stress and be a positive experience for everyone.  Check out “Creating a Successful Care Team” for tips on how to make the experience a good one for you and your loved one.

About the author:  Ryan McEniff is the Director at Minute Women Inc., a non-medical home care agency established in 1969, in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Having trouble with this issue or figuring out what resources can assist your elderly loved ones?  Call us at 727-448-0900 or click below to plan a time to talk to a care advisor:

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