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How to Explain to Your Parents that They Need a Caregiver

>> Dec 4, 2012

 "Owning" one's independence is a very important and personal thing, and it's something most adults don't even think about.

"Of course I'm independent, and that's not going to change anytime soon," we think. It's inevitable at some point, though, that we're going to need help once we get older, and maybe that time is here for your parents. Maybe the house isn't clean, or they can't entirely take care of their own needs anymore. Today, it's entirely possible for many seniors to stay in their homes and simply have a home care service worker come in on a regular basis to help.

However, for the most independent of folks, even considering having a caregiver can be difficult. How do you explain to your parents that they need a caregiver? How do you do so in a way that's entirely respectful and yet firm enough that your parents won't try to refuse?

Make it about the tasks that need to be done, not them. If your parents are having physical difficulty taking care of themselves or completing chores around the house but are mentally sharp, simply sit down and talk to them about how you know it's important to them to keep up their home. Tell them that you are going to hire a home health service to come in once or twice a week to help with cooking or laundry or cleaning, medication organization, etc., so that they'll have an easier time of it.

Be gentle. Again, if your parents are mentally sharp, they will know that things have begun to slide. They know that their hygiene may not be what it once was, or that they're not able to cook or clean adequately. Don't "guilt" your parents into accepting caregiver help. Instead, simply tell them that you know their home's appearance (and theirs) is important to them and you can help them see to it that things are kept up just as they always have been.

Emphasize that this is about maintaining independence, not losing it. Most seniors are terrified at the thought of going to a nursing home, and will do anything to maintain their independence. DON'T threaten your parents with a move to a nursing home in order to get them to do what you want them to do, but do emphasize that a home care service can help them keep their independence and stay in their home.

Let them be in charge. Again, if your parents are sharp mentally, let them be in charge of managing the home care service workers who come to their home. While you may manage things peripherally and will be onsite occasionally to make sure things are going well, your parents are the ones who should be seen as "in charge" of the care workers who see to their needs. (That is, unless your parents are suffering from dementia or something similar where they don't have the ability to be in control.)

Once your parents see that hiring a caregiver service simply gives them the assistance necessary to take care of required tasks, and once they see that they are in charge of the caregivers who are helping them take care of themselves and remain independent, they should feel much better about the need to have a service like this come to their home.

Max Miller is a writer on a variety of topics, including homecare. He has recently helped his parents adjust to getting older and the loss of control that comes along with that. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family and sports such as basketball.

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Welcome to my blog. I'm a home maker, a stay at home wife. I'm just an ordinary woman who has interest in reading, working at home and learning to write. We live in Bogor, Indonesia.
This blog contains articles in family topic.
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