It happens to everyone – as we grow older, some tasks that were manageable in our youth become more difficult to complete. But we always remember the sense of independence and accomplishment that completing tasks gave us. Even if they were tasks we didn’t like. That’s not something that’s easy to give up. That’s why many adult children find it difficult to get their parents to accept in-home care – or even consider the possibility. The key is to look at things from our parents’ points of view.
In-home care isn’t babysitting
In addition to independence, our parents want to maintain their control and dignity; what they don’t want is to suffer the idea that, for the first time in decades, they need a babysitter. Any suggestions of in-home care should be made with this in mind. Instead, be sure to make the point that care providers are assistants; they aren’t there to manage or to take control. Your parents are in charge. They don’t receive tasks or orders; they provide them. That’s an important distinction from the babysitting they outgrew long ago; it’s a difference that should make them more receptive to the idea.
In-home care provides freedom
As much as adults value their independence, it goes hand-in-hand with the responsibility for handling chores and tasks we dislike. Sometimes that responsibility keeps us all from doing the things we enjoy –like watching a game instead of mowing the lawn or folding laundry instead of enjoying a movie or a book. In-home care provides the freedom to hand-off unpleasant tasks to free up more time to do something more enjoyable. Perhaps your parent doesn’t “need” in-home care, but would rather not do the ironing or shopping or weeding. In-home senior care doesn’t restrict the freedom to do what we want; it provides more time to do what makes life worth living.
A little empathy goes a long way
When readying for a discussion about in-home care, considering your parent’s point to view is a great start. It’s also a great practice to follow when you have the discussion. No matter how much you consider things from your parents’ points of view, there may be reluctance. There may be disagreement, and even arguments and hurt. But every potential negative will be minimized once your parents understand that you’re listening and really hearing. So be sure to really listen, and to address their concerns. If and when your parents understand that they still have a say in their own lives, everything will be much easier.