Expert Tips from our Members

Visiting Angels - Approaching the Subject of Home Care

 
Approaching that difficult subject... your loved one may need home care. 
 
Be Sure to Have a Plan
 
 
 

Some suggested methods to deal with resistance are:

 

          ~If your loved one's health and/or safety are at issue, say so, and push the discussion forward. 

 

          ~Involve others, such as clergy, physicians, or a geriatric care manager. 

 

          ~Use community resources like Meals on Wheels or a free consultation with a home care agency to help everyone ease into "care at home" process.

 

 

     Make sure you have focused on what they feel their issues are, not just what others think the concerns are. They will be much more accepting of your concerns and wishes if they tie into their own concerns. One last thought on family meetings before moving on: It is wise to have the family meet prior to having the loved one attend a family meeting. This will give the family an opportunity to unite in their thoughts, which will help to show your loved one that all of you are concerned about similar issues. The statement "strength in numbers" certainly does apply here. 

 

     After having the initial family meeting (with your loved one) and everyone has had the opportunity to express their feelings and thoughts, gently suggest that they make an appointment with their physician to have a thorough evaluation. An appointment with a geriatric psychologist may be necessary depending on your loved one's condition. This professional evaluation can go a long way in helping them decide that they could use some assistance in their home. Don't nag them about this evaluation - simply plant the seed and water it from time to time. Eventually, most elders realize that they cannot care for themselves as they used to. Seeing a doctor seems to make this decision easier.

 

     Finally, be direct and speak with them about having a home care agency come out and meet with them. This will allow your loved one to get a sense of exactly what such an agency can do for them. Be specific about the tasks a caregiver will and will not perform. Let them know that they are still in control and that the home care process can add significantly to everyone's peace of mind.

 

     Keep all your discussions with them positive. Treat them as an equal - don't parent! And remember; let your loved one make decisions. Your job is to help them make those decisions, not to make decisions for them. 

 

The Family Plan:

 

Here are some examples of issues to consider when involving your family in conversations about helping your loved one decide whether or not to use home care:

 

          ~Your loved one must be the focus of all discussions and be totally involved (assuming their mental capabilities are up to the task).

 

          ~Voice your opinions using "I" statements. 

 

          ~Have a clear topic for every discussion. 

 

          ~Be assertive about your thoughts. 

 

          ~Be respectful of others opinions (especially your loved one's). 

 

          ~Realize it may take some time and several conversations to come to a consensus. 

 

          ~Don't blame others or use "You" statements. 

 

          ~Don't try to accomplish too much in one conversation. 

 

          ~Don't expect that this will be easy. 

 

 Visiting Angels is located at 2816 Morris Avenue, Suite 37, Union, NJ    908-497-7016

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