GROWING OLDER DOESN'T HAVE TO BE SCARY
But quite frankly it is. Losing the ability to care for oneself can not only be a risk to personal safety, but it is difficult to come to terms with mentally and emotionally. Often its left to the children to broach the subject of Mum and or Dad needing home care, - this can be a daunting prospect but can be made more comfortable and more effective by careful research and planning.
While as children we can find it difficult to discuss with our parents - remember that this is a more significant transition for them, a major life change.
Loss of independence is a grieving process, it will take time and support from loved ones for them to accept that they need help. They are going to feel a little abandoned if the family have been assisting them, and now they are faced with having 'strangers' provide their care, or if family members are moving away. It is essential to keep them included in the family life and provide them with lots of support and affection when they transition to being supported by home-care.
KNOW YOUR OPTIONS
In preparing to discuss home care with your parents - half the battle is arming yourself with knowledge. Do some research through websites or get pamphlets from local various agencies to see what all your options are. Pick a staff or an organisation that best meets you and your family's needs - making a list of what is most important can help?
Do you need an agency that can be flexible ? can you have a small team of carers of your choice or is value for money your top priority. Choose an agency that has a good reputation, choosing a quality certified agency can provide assurance of a good standard of care.
A Home-care agency that incorporates other health professionals such as Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, can ensure access to all the assistance needed now and into the future. After you have a list of agencies, be sure to investigate further into reviews of the organisation and be sure to get some feedback from individuals who have used the service and online community review sites.
Lastly, once an appropriate, premium quality service is located, an interview should be scheduled to make sure that they are the best organisation for your needs.
BROACHING THE SUBJECT WITH MUM AND DAD
It may be cliche, but it is essential to set a mood. Choose a time when they are likely to be relaxed, not rushed. Remember not to bring this up on a day like their birthday, because it can sour a special occasion. Be patient and honest - tell them your concerns and reassure them that you want to make sure they are safe and well cared for.
ALLOWING FOR A SMOOTH TRANSITION
The earliest part of the transition will be the hardest and met with resistance. Anger is a reasonable reaction, while they are coming to terms with their loss of independence. Be firm about the need for them to have home care, but an understanding of their worry and concerns.
The biggest fear they'll have about home care is that they are being abandoned.
Assure them this is not the case, and be sure to visit them often in spare moments. One of the easiest ways to implement the transition is to be there with them during their first home-care visit. It can be incredibly comforting having a familiar face when they are exposed to something so new. Fortunately, home-care professionals are incredibly patient, enjoy working with the elderly, and are trained to deal with implementing these transitions smoothly.
For the first week, it is helpful to have a child or grandchild around to keep them company. After the brief transition, however, most parents have grown accustomed to their elder care professional and are comfortable having most of their needs seen too by them. This is especially important if the occupation or other circumstances are going to separate family members from their parents for a long time. Once your parents have settled into the routine of having a home-care provider assist them, it is vital that family members maintain contact and call them often.
Having a provider attend to your parents care needs has can enable you to step back from some of the carer roles, and reconnect with them as their children - enjoying more social and family time together now that you are relieved of the day to day caring role. Creating this renewed closeness and inclusion is a great way to make them feel at home and relevant in the family even if they aren't visited as often anymore. What is your biggest challenge to discuss home care with parents? Share it with us.
Once your parents have settled into the routine of having help at home, it is important that family members maintain contact and call them often.
Having a home-care provider attend to your parents care needs has can enable you to step back from some of the carer role, and re connect with them as their children - enjoying more social and family time together now that you are relieved of the day to day caring role.
Creating this renewed closeness and inclusion is a great way to make them feel at home and relevant in the family even if they aren't visited as often anymore.