This is the first of five installments in our Making Home Care Work for Your Aging Loved One series. The transition of introducing care into your aging loved one’s home can feel very overwhelming! We started by compiling five of the main concerns our customers have expressed to us. Each installment focuses on one specific obstacle and how to tackle it, based on our 30 years of home care experience. Remember: you can do this.
Concern #1: My aging parent will refuse help at home. While there are some parents that may surprise you, this is definitely a valid concern. So what can you do? First, try to reset your thinking. While your aging parent may initially refuse or resent help at home, they are going to adjust and can potentially feel very happy receiving help at home.
To overcome their initial fear, you can ask a family member or friend their age to help convince them to give it a try. This could be someone who is receiving help at home themselves, or it may be someone who also recognizes that your aging parent needs help and can speak to them as a fellow senior, from a place of understanding. It may also help to assure your aging parent that help at home can actually increase their ability to do more things, with a greater sense of independence.
Sometimes help at home is temporary. Medicare home health care is designed to help one improve after a decline in condition and is approved in 60-day episodes. If your aging parent regains their former healthcare status at any time during their episode, they will be discharged. If their needs persist, they will need to add private home care services for help with their daily living activities as needed. Private Services usually consist of a caregiver providing assistance as needed, according to an agreed-upon care plan and schedule. Once your aging parent is connected with caregivers with whom they feel comfortable and confident, their perception of help at home will change for the better. You may find that not only are they more receptive, they are also happier with this change. Time also helps the unfamiliar become acceptable.
Finally, an easy and pro-active way to address your aging parent’s reluctance about home care is to introduce a little bit of help at home before they really need it. One very affordable way to do this is through a weekly nurse wellness visit. Our nurse will visit once per week, on the day and time that is convenient for your aging loved one. They will complete a basic wellness check and record this information. They will also pack medications for the week, and answer any questions your aging loved one may have. This is a great way to stay on top of many health complications that could arise.
What’s next? Check back for Concern #2: I don’t know what to expect as home care begins.
What did we forget? What is working for you? Share your insight on our Facebook page!