It’s the conversation every son or daughter dreads having: how to convince an elderly parent that it is time to consider getting assistance from a care provider. These conversations can be stressful and frustrating for both the parent and the son or daughter. However, approaching this situation with empathy and understanding can reduce or eliminate much of the angst of a very difficult topic. When initiating this conversation, here is some advice to keep in mind.
Role Reversal Is a Difficult Process
There’s an old adage that states, “you are an adult once and a child twice.” Many parents find it difficult to have a conversation with their children about adult care. A common mentality is that parents are the ones who are supposed to take care of their children. It’s important to reassure parents that while they will always be parents, they’ve earned the right to have someone take care of them.
Loss of Independence Is a Huge Fear
No one wants to feel restricted. Many elderly consider the assistance of a home health aide the first step in a loss of independence. In addition to the physical signs of age that are lessening their ability to function – reduction of muscle mass, vision, hearing or other bodily functions – many older adults may be too proud or embarrassed to ask for assistance. A non-intrusive way to introduce parents to a home health aide may be to suggest that the person is coming in to assist with meals or cleaning.
Everyone Will Get Old
The most important thing to remember during these conversations is to approach your parents with dignity and respect. Treat them the way you would want to be treated. After all, they had endless patience when you learned how to walk, talk and eat. Afford them the same patience during this time, especially if they initially offer resistance.
Call Oakridge Gardens Rehabilitation & Memory Center for more information about how to talk to your elderly parents about in-home care.