Tips For Introducing In-Home Caregiving To Your Aging Parents

When an aging parent needs help in the home, it's often hard for them to communicate that need, or even to acknowledge that they are having a difficult time with their daily routines. Nearly everyone wants to retain their independence well into their senior years, but what they may not realize is that if they get some in-home help, they may be able to stay in their home indefinitely.

Before you approach your elderly parent about getting some help in the home, remember that no one likes change, especially the elderly. They most likely feel comfortable, safe and secure with their current lifestyle, and have established routines, so when you bring up the topic of getting them some help, you might meet some resistance.

Here are some tips that will help them warm up to the idea:

  • Start small. Suggest that they have someone come in to clean once a week, or cook meals a few days a week. Once they see how helpful this service is, they might be open to help on a more frequent, or even live-in, basis.  
  • Ask them to alleviate your concern. Let them know that if they will accept some care from hired help, it will take a load off of your mind, and keep you from worrying about them as much. This will appeal to their parental nature.
  • Involve them in the selection process. Make it clear that they can interview and even select the candidates that they feel most comfortable with, and whom they feel are most qualified. This will help them feel more in control.   

During the selection process, be sure to inform the candidates of your parents' medical issues, interests and hobbies, to ensure that they are not only able to handle all their medical challenges, but also willing to keep them involved in their hobbies. Also make sure the candidates realize that you're not just looking for a caregiver, but also a companion for your parents. This will help you to make the right choice for the long term, because if you do choose well, this person could become a real asset to your parents' lives.

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