Our Advice on Accepting In-Home Care
How can I get Dad to agree to Home Care?
As people get older, they can often start to gradually need extra help with daily living tasks. You might start to notice small things like the house not being as clean or pots piling up near the sink. They could even experience memory loss, changes in behaviour or incontinence. Discussing these changes with your relative, and approaching them with the idea of outside help, can sometimes seem daunting.
Our Care Begins at Home experts have many years of experience in Home Care and the challenges that relatives face when setting up care for the first time. Here they share their expertise on ways to discuss care with a loved one.
Care Manager Colette Russell:
It’s not uncommon for a person to resist care. There can be many reasons why. They may worry about losing their independence and possibly their dignity. Often a person’s poor health can change their behaviour or make them feel more vulnerable.
Understanding the underlying reasons for resistance to home care can help you recognise the best approach to take. Remember that a person may feel upset and react negatively to those closest to them, especially in emotionally stressful situations.
When talking to a loved one about home care:
- Try to be understanding and empathetic. Think about how they are feeling
- Be mindful in your approach. Don’t have the conversation late at night when everyone is tired. Perhaps discuss it over a relaxed lunch when your loved one feels happy and at ease
- Describe home care in a positive way. It’s not about taking their independence away, it’s about promoting it and enabling them to live a fulfilled life
- Work with professionals. Ask an In-Home Care Provider to visit them for an informal chat. This often works wonders as the person realises that the care provider wants to help keep them stay independent. An outside individual that isn’t related to them can also diffuse an emotionally stressful situation
Charlotte Cooper (client services)
Many of my clients are initially reluctant to accept care so it’s important to help them feel in control again and try to involve them in the decisions around home help:
- Always stress that home carers will only help your loved one with the tasks they cannot do for themselves. Needs can vary each day so let your relative know that carers will only help when required and won’t “take-over”
- Try to get help sooner rather than later when a person’s needs may become increasingly complex. This gives them time to build up trust with the carers before the possibility of personal hygiene requiring personal care. People tend to find it easier to accept more personal support such as In-Home nursing if they are already familiar with the carers
- Find out about local activities your relative would enjoy with the help of a carer. Perhaps they used to love driving to a certain place or attending an art class. Setting up In-Home care for them to engage in their favourite activity helps to build trust with carers and this will facilitate increasing care in the future
Adele Hogarth, Business Development Manager:
Broaching the subject of home care can be difficult, especially when you know your family-member may become upset. Below are some of the techniques that have helped me persuade family members and clients to accept care:
- Think ahead and carefully plan the conversation with your loved one. Contact local home care services and find out the cost of care and if they have a carer with matching interests and hobbies, or perhaps a carer of a similar age group or background
- Think about what your relative would be happiest to consider, i.e., a companion to take them out once a week or perhaps help with occasional cleaning and shopping. If they need more support than this you can increase support once trust has been gained
- Explain how you’re feeling and the impact it may be having on you to continue supporting them. Try suggesting that you would like some more quality time with them enjoying a day out or perhaps cooking a meal together. Explain that this quality time could be arranged more often if support was in place
- Suggest a trial run so that they feel in control and can experience what it’s like to have care without having to commit to it. Most people enjoy having visits from home carers once they’ve overcome their initial concerns
For more information about caring for a loved one at home join our discussion in our Facebook group Care Begins at Home for ongoing advice and support from our care experts.