Sometimes an aging parent’s need for help is sudden and obvious. More often, though, it gradually becomes apparent.
How will you know? Watch for:
- Changes in your loved one’s behavior
- Ignoring favorite hobbies
- Missing dates with friends
- Forgetting to pay bills
Not every change means danger,
but when a shift happens it’s important to understand why.
Tag along to your loved one’s doctor appointments and ask questions.
– Claudia Fine, SeniorBridge
Staying at Home
Keeping a loved one in his or her house – or yours – can be challenging if your loved one needs daily help with tasks. Thankfully, there are Adult Day Care and Respite Care services to make this option easier.
Once you understand the person’s situation,
you can help develop plans.
Although you may not see yourself as a “caregiver,”
that’s the term for anyone who looks after a person
who needs assistance with daily tasks.
– Peter Notarstefano, LeadingAge
Getting Your Loved One on Board
Set a time line
Try presenting care, in whatever form, as something to try out for a little while.
Make your relative the boss
Describe care providers as “assistants” to show that your loved one is still in charge.
Tweak your language
Frame help in the way that will most appeal to your relative. Maybe it’s a deserved luxury; maybe it’s something recommended by a trusted doctor or friend.
Include your loved one in any decisions, and avoid telling her what she “needs to do”; this usually triggers resistance, warns Linda Fodrini-Johnson, executive director of Eldercare Services.
If your relative is reluctant to accept care, try to figure out why, says Jackie Lapidus, executive director of Care Management Associates. Your relative may be assuming one scenario while you’re imagining another.
Turn the tables
Remind your loved one that by accepting help, he is easing your fears and making your life less stressful.