Home care or institutional care? When it comes to asking an elderly person in the South Shore MA area which one they would prefer, home care wins hands down (in most surveys by about 9 to 1).
Yet, the truth of the matter is that getting an elderly and fragile loved one to agree to either sell their home and move to an assisted living facility, or have a stranger come into their house to care for them, is still going to be a major challenge.
Chances are they will fight it. They won’t go easy into the good night – which is why it’s up to the family caregiver (usually an adult child) to take charge and make it happen. This is not a job for the weak of heart.
How one goes about doing this depends on a number of circumstances: the physical and cognitive status of the person requiring care; the relationship between the family caregiver and client; whether the elderly person lives alone, with an adult child, or in a senior living community; and the temperament of the individual (which can range from pliable on one side of the scale, to obstinate on the other).
In general, here is a look at several common strategies for convincing a loved one to accept care at home in South Shore MA:
- Using reason. Saying “We’re worried about your safety when you’re alone and a home care worker will make sure you’re safe” makes plenty of sense. Unfortunately, not every elderly person – just like not every child – sees the real picture.
- Using guilt. This may involve telling the patient “If you don’t agree to have a home health aide come in you’re going to force me to quit my job, which will be a problem (for any one of a number of different reasons).” Guilt can work.
- Using confrontation. Sometimes, it needs to be laid on the line. For example: “Mom, it comes down to either having a home health aide stay with you or having you sell the house and move into an assisted living community (or nursing home). It’s one or the other. It’s your choice.” This often works, but may lead to some bruising – at least until the parent reaches the conclusion that it was the right thing to do.
- Using a more creative touch. This strategy may seem a little shifty, but if done well it is likely not only to work effectively but also to avoid any bad will. A good example of this is where the adult child has the home health aide come in unannounced and explains to the parent that so-and-so is “a friend who will stay to keep you company while I’m at work (or attend to errands for several hours).” In the meantime, the home health aide will be well briefed on what the parent enjoys – discuss recent movies or books, doing crossword puzzles – in order to create an immediate bond between the two. Hopefully, if this works out well, there will be the opportunity to extend the amount of time the two spend together until it becomes something the elderly person begins to look forward to.
Home care very often is the best solution for ensuring the safety of an elderly loved one, providing companionship (i.e. alleviating boredom and isolation) and helping them with their activities of daily living (e.g. bathing, toileting, cleaning the house, cooking meals, running errands). However, getting the patient from point A (where it is determined that they need increased help) to point B (getting he or she to buy in on bringing in a home care worker) is very likely to be a battle.