Help Your Loved One Live Independently

Expert advice for discussing the Value of In-home Care with Your Elderly Parents

By doing a little research, enlisting the support of others, and incorporating the idea slowly into a conversation, your elderly parents just might welcome the assistance they need from a home health care professional to remain independent and comfortable at home.

Most elderly parents prefer to age at home and many are able to do so longer as family members, like you, help provide home care solutions. Often, those family members seek assistance from elder care agencies, but convincing determined parents to accept this type of outside help can be a challenge. 

Here are six tips for helping you discuss the benefits of in-home care with your elderly parents:

  1. Be Prepared.
    Invest a few minutes to educate yourself about the specific benefits of in-home care. Beyond online research, we suggest calling the premier personal care agency in your area. Many provide free consultations, and the advice and individual insight of a professional caregiver can give you the reassurance you need and ultimately strengthen the conversation you have with your parent.

  2. Discuss the Immediate Advantages of Dependable and Professional Care. With the consistent help of a professional, in-home caregiver, your parent(s) may be able to stay in the comfort and security of home longer, rather than one or both of them needing to enter an assisted-living or skilled-nursing facility. Emphasize the individualized nature of in-home care. By suggesting how nice it would be to have someone else do the daily tasks he/she dreads doing, especially if they are living alone. She has worked hard all of her life, now may be the time to enjoy doing the things that are not arduous. Ask what she would like to spend more time doing and focus on ideas that encourage safety, peace of mind and independent living. Suggest that accepting the help of a trained in-home care specialist would benefit her spouse, even if it really benefits both parents. Often we are willing to do for our spouse what we would refuse to do for ourselves. If both parents are living this can be a strong argument.

  3. Start Slowly. 
    If your parent is concerned about a “stranger” providing intimate care, start slowly. Suggest the home care provider assist with noninvasive services like meal preparation, transportation, housekeeping, and shopping. In most cases, once your parent is accustomed to the caregiver, she will allow the caregiver to assist with more things as the need arises.

  4. Focus the Need on You.
    Let your parent know that you are overwhelmed with your responsibilities and feel guilty that you cannot always provide the care you know your parent needs. Explain that it makes you feel better to have a home care provider available when you are not. Rather than making your parent feel like he is losing independence, present it as your needing the help.

  5. Present It as a Safety Issue.
    As our parents age, there are new frailties and new risks. Discuss with your parent the consequences of a fall or other accidents. Should an accident occur when he is alone, it may be detrimental to his well-being and result in a hospital stay, and then rehabilitation in a nursing facility. Having a care provider present significantly reduces the chances of falling as care providers are trained in home safety.

  6. Enlist Advice from Your Parent’s Physician.
    Visit your parent’s physician together and discuss your concerns with him. More often than not, doctors will share with your concerns, and discuss with your parent why home care assistance is important or necessary to remain safely at home.