How to Start the Discussion About Home Care

December 15, 2021

If you’re struggling to assist your ageing parent with daily life activities - such as personal care, meals, and transport - it might be time to reach out for professional assistance.

For many, the support of an in-home care provider is an ideal solution. It is one of the best ways to help older people live safely while maintaining a sense of independence in their own home.

Starting The Conversation

When a family caregiver feels it’s time to engage a home care partner, one of the challenges they might face is starting the conversation with their parent.

Many seniors are reluctant to admit they need help or are resistant to accepting it from a stranger. The idea of unfamiliar people coming into their home may feel unsettling or perhaps unsafe.

Some family members find it beneficial to explain what home care is, how an in-home carer can make a difference, and encourage loved ones to help interview and choose their support person.

Discussing the Benefits of In-Home Care

Many older adults see accepting the help of a professional caregiver as a loss of independence and dignity. In reality, it can allow them to remain in their home for longer. Care support workers can assist with everyday tasks that may not feel safe for the senior to do alone - like meal preparation, vacuuming, doing the laundry, and running to the shop or attending appointments.

Personal care is another in-home service. Caregivers provide a helping hand for seniors who need support to shower, dress, and complete other personal hygiene needs. For many, having a trained professional help with these intimate tasks feels more comfortable than having an adult child do so – which can feel embarrassing or undignified.

Now that you have a better understanding of the benefits of in-home care, it will likely be a little easier to share that knowledge with your loved one.

Here are a few pointers you can use when you sit down to have that first talk with your parent about home care.

  • Begin the conversation somewhere quiet, private and comfortable. Your parent may feel most comfortable at the dining table after a good meal, or in the lounge room. Having a comforting distraction such as a beloved pet on their lap or their favourite hot drink may help ease any tension.
  • Highlight empowerment and independence: Let your loved one know that you love them, and understand how important it is to them to remain in their own home and maintain their independence. In-home caregivers are a great way to support that goal.
  • Emphasise the benefits: Explain the in-home care services that are most relevant for your parent. For example, if they have been having balance problems linked to a poor diet, share how a carer can help them eat healthier, improve their quality of life and regain core strength.
  • Share your unique concerns: If you have specific concerns, this is the time to share them with your parent in a loving, compassionate and patient manner. For example, if they have to climb up and down steps to do their laundry, they might not do it as often as needed. When they do, the risk for falls can be high. Express how this can be worrisome, and how in-home care can be personalised to meet their unique needs.
  • Offer peace of mind: Share how the home care providers that you can consider together screen and train their employees – with each care support worker holding qualifications in their field, and many have extensive experience. That may help reduce some of your parent’s fears about having a stranger in their home.

One final tip as you talk with your parent about in-home care is to ask them what tasks and activities they are struggling to get done. Encourage them to be open and honest. By asking them to think about their challenges, they may begin to accept that they do need a little help, and having some extra support around the home might make life easier, and more enjoyable

Learn More About Mayflower’s Home Care Services in Melbourne

If you are ready to learn more, we invite you to call our friendly home care team on 1300 522 273. We can schedule an assessment of your loved one’s in-home care needs and explain the next steps in getting started!