Convincing aging or elderly loved ones to accept in-home care services can quite often be a huge challenge, especially those suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Many seniors, like anyone else much younger, greatly value the concept of self-reliance and full independence. An in-home care service can take away these value markers for a senior-aged family member, leaving them with a feeling of inadequacy or despair. Thankfully, however, there are many great strategies available that can help to convince an elderly family member that in-home care is nothing that could ever take away a person’s value in themselves, on the contrary, they can give essential and much-needed care while removing a lot of worry and stress from an elderly person’s life. They can also free up time, giving elderly loved ones the ability to pursue other hobbies, spend more time with family, and just enjoy life much more.
In the article below we will walk you through a list of the best strategies and techniques available that can help to convince an elderly loved one that in-home care is the right choice to make. Continue reading to discover just how this is possible, even with loved ones suffering from debilitating mental health issues such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
The Top 8 Ways to Convince an Elderly Loved One to Accept In-Home Care Services
1. Introduce the Idea Slowly and Gradually
One of the main ways to convince an elderly person to accept help with their daily living tasks is to start slowly and gradually. Never drop the idea on to them suddenly, as this can shock them. Instead, very subtly evaluate their daily living tasks with them and try to point out areas where their life could be greatly improved if they, for example, were to be assisted during certain hours of the day by a registered nurse. Explain to them the benefits of using a registered nurse, such as safely completing tasks that they otherwise struggle with, or getting things done much more quickly than they could otherwise do if left to tackle the tasks themselves.
2. Listen to What They Are Saying
If an elderly person or senior expresses apprehension or negative thoughts about in-home care providers, then be sure to listen to what they are saying. It is important that you not only find out why they are reluctant to consider help from in-home care providers, but that you make them feel like their voice matters and that it is being considered. The last thing you ever want to do is ignore the legitimate concerns of someone resistant towards assisted living care. This can cause them to shut down as they will feel that their voice and opinions do not matter, possibly leading them to reject the idea of assisted living altogether. Being listened to is a basic human need and right, especially over a matter so sensitive as in-home care.
3. Make Their Human Dignity the Main Priority
Never ever attempt to callously force a senior or elderly person into accepting in-home health aides. This completely insults the person and takes away their dignity. Even if they are completely reluctant to consider the option of in-home health aides, discuss the idea with them in a civil and logical manner. Explain to them what is a caregiver. A care recipient of any kind needs to know the difference between in-home care, hospice care, non-medical home care, and other types of care. Knowing the difference can help them to relax about the idea and take away a lot of fear or apprehension that they may feel over the idea.
4. Highlight That The Care is Recommended by Their Doctor
Many seniors and elderly people have great and trusting relationships with their primary care physicians. If a senior is reluctant to consider in-home care, then let them know that their doctor is recommending that they become a home care recipient or a recipient of non-medical home care. Tell them the reasons why the doctor is prescribing this. If they have any financially-based apprehensions, then let them know that long-term care insurance is available to them. You might want to check their existing health insurance, as many seniors have long-term care insurance built into their plans. Most doctors can direct their senior patients to individuals that can explain long-term care insurance plans with them in greater detail.
5. Explain That In-Home Care is Not Hospice Care
You would be shocked at how many seniors equate something as simple as in-home care with hospice care. They literally see being assisted by a healthcare professional as the last or final chapter of life for them. Patiently explain to them what is a caregiver that comes to their home to help with simple tasks. Go into details about what these tasks might be so that the senior or elderly person in question knows exactly what they will be assisted with. Always go out of your way to illustrate to them in great detail how getting assistance with living tasks is normal, even for younger people suffering from disabilities. Tell them that in-home care is never the end of the road, rather it is the start of a greater quality of life.
6. Introduce Caregivers as Friends
Whether it be in-home caregivers, live in caregivers, or any other type of care, always describe these professionals as friends. In-home or live in caregivers are trained experts at not only assisting the elderly with their medical or home-based tasks, but they are also experts at cultivating lasting relationships with the patients that they serve. If your elderly loved one isn’t seeing their caregiver as a friend, then perhaps you might consider swapping the person for another employee that your family member clicks with more deeply. Most care facilities will absolutely accommodate a request to change caregivers if a personal connection between the patient and the provider is less than ideal.
7. Explain The Advantages of In-Home Care Over a Long-Term Care Facility
If an elderly family member is reluctant to consider in-home care, one way to convince them is to explain why in-home care is so much better than staying at a long-term care facility. Never threaten the person with an ultimatum, that they must choose one or the other, as more often than not they will reject the idea of both. Even when it comes to a stubborn person that isn’t particularly open to change, effort should always be made to make your senior family member feel as though they have a voice in making whatever decision needs to be made. Do not make them feel trapped into accepting in-home care, rather explain to them why it is so important.
8. Say That In-Home Care is Just a Temporary Solution
Telling a white lie to someone that is declining essential medical services is not only ethical, but it is also crucial under certain circumstances. If your elderly family member is strongly expressing that they do not want to receive in-home care, then simply tell them that is it only a temporary arrangement. Often times they will see that the care makes their life so much better and slowly over time they will grow to accept it as a permanent arrangement. The idea that the care is just temporary allows them to mentally ease into the idea of it and makes them feel like ultimately they have a choice in the future to decline it altogether, even if that is not a real medical or otherwise practical option.