"Need help?" "Who me?!? Couldn’t be!!!"
Does this feel familiar?!?
Perhaps your parents (like my mine!) may be the last ones to want to admit that they need extra help during the day (or night). However, for their wellbeing and ours, initiating a deeper inquiry into their situation can be vital when enough signs point in that direction.
How do we know we’re not just “ overreacting”, as they may try to convince us?
Here are important considerations:
Be aware that these emotional factors can make it extremely difficult to even bring up the need for extra care in the first place.
---> Bring awareness to these factors so as not to let them be the deciding factor as to whether you actually go ahead with soliciting the care our families will truly benefit from!
“I don’t want to loose my independence or be seen ‘differently’”: “needing help” is often equated with loosing independence or loosing some important part of ones identity. Let’s remind ourselves and our loved ones that the opposite can actually be true - when we get the quality help that’s actually needed, we gain the ability to do more things we enjoy again!
“I don’t want to be a ‘burden’”: asking for help is often considered ‘burdensome’ in many cultures, especially for men! Let’s remind our parents that easing our mind, and theirs, and better ensuring their safety and wellbeing when we can’t be with them, is in fact, the best way to relief extra burden for all!
“I don’t trust others I don’t know in my house!”: many forms of lacking trust in others outside the family can be a great barrier to receiving the extra care one may truly need. Let’s remind ourselves and our parents that in fact, it is very often the trained and compassionate “outsiders” who can be the better care providers for our aging parents due to their lack of emotional attachments and long history with them. Highly caring individuals dedicate themselves to being in the service-oriented homecare field because they truly want to make a positive impact in our families's lives they work with directly. Partnering with a highly-qualified, vetted, compassionate, and trustworthy team of well-connected and 5-star rated careproviders, dedicated to working with your families unique and dynamic needs is going to be critical in gaining trust upfront and for the long term. When you are feel like those you work with are an extension of your family, you know you are in the right place.
Some signs that a senior needs extra help with their health and daily routine include:
Dramatic Changes in weight
Changes in sleep patterns
Trouble managing medications or misuse
Inability to follow medical directions or get to needed appointments
A home that isn't being maintained properly or bills aren’t getting paid on time
Changes in the home environment and/or indicationed that their environment is no longer safe for them
Unexpected changes in mood
Any signs of Possible abuse and/or loneliness and depression (not acting like themselves, hiding and isolating themselves more)
Here are some tips for talking to aging parents about accepting help:
Stay positive and empathetic to their point of view
Let them have control and autonomy (within safe limits)
Provide good options for them
Collaborate with others who have experience in senior care management and services
Choose your battles
Frame conversations around you and other loved ones
Affirm their independence, abilities and freedoms
Offering and taking advantage of (no-cost) needs assessments with experienced professionals is a great no-pressure way to encourage them to put their feet in the water!
When your parents or anyone you know is showing signs that more care is needed for their safety and wellbeing, finding the RIGHT care partners is VITAL.
Editor Danyel Brisk, Community Liaison of Sunlight Home Care, email@example.com