“Will you do it for me?”
In many families, those six simple words might be the key to getting a senior loved one to accept help and get started with home care — and finally receive the support they need to live a more active, safe, and independent life.
Here at Companions for Seniors, we often speak with adult children who are looking to get help for their parents — and elderly adults who are often reluctant to accept any type of care.
There are countless reasons why seniors may refuse to get help with aging in place. For seniors who have spent decades working, raising kids, and being a part of their community, it can be incredibly difficult to acknowledge their limits. As a result, there is often a fear among seniors that accepting help from a caregiver is a sign that they are losing their ability to live independently. For others, the thought of getting help is tied up in feelings of being a burden, or being unwanted by their family. Many older adults are simply apprehensive about the thought of making such a big change — and all the little adjustments that are sure to come with it, from having someone new around the house, to teaching their caregiver their favorite way to do the laundry.
At the same time, the children and grandchildren who act as “unpaid” or “informal” caregivers often face some pretty serious challenges of their own.
Family caregivers often find it hard to balance the dual demands of work and caregiving. For “Sandwich Generation” caregivers, devoting so much time to an elderly loved one can make it difficult to find time for the rest of the family. Caregivers report a high degree of stress and exhaustion, and many say that they don’t make time to eat right, rest, visit the doctor, or exercise. These seemingly little things can all add up and take a serious toll on the caregiver’s health over time.
And that’s to say nothing of the everyday stress and strain that can come from worrying about a parent non-stop — like fretting that they may experience a fall, or feeling nervous that they’re not eating well or staying socially active.
Talking With Your Senior Loved Ones: Will They Accept Care?
We know that bringing up these personal difficulties and obstacles can be tough. However, for family caregivers who are ready to start looking into home care, sharing these challenges and concerns with your senior loved one may be a powerful way to move the conversation forward — and finally get the senior in your life to accept the help they deserve.
In our experience, while seniors may be reluctant to accept help for themselves, they may be more open to the idea if they believe that they are doing it for their loved ones.
Many older adults still see themselves first and foremost as parents and guardians. The health and safety of their loved ones means everything to them. Your parent may be more willing to listen if they really understand the toll that caregiving is having on your well-being. No loving parent or grandparent wants to hear that you’re burning the candle at both ends. That you’re not sleeping or eating. That you’re not able to spend time with your own kids. That you’re worrying about them day and night.
Parents often want what’s best for their families. As the writer Mitch Albom once put it, the love of a mom or dad is “the purest love you will ever know.”
When it’s time to talk seriously about in-home care, be honest and open about your fears and your concerns for the future. Be open to acknowledging how caregiving can be challenging for you, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Be ready to talk about how getting professional help might benefit you, as well as your senior loved one.
For example? If you know that your mom has a professional driver who can take her to run errands and attend appointments each week, this can free up many valuable hours for you to pick up your own kids from school and make them a healthy, nourishing dinner.
Having a caregiver in the house with your dad to assist with sitting and standing can help make him more comfortable and safe, while also giving you peace of mind — and letting you actually relax and sleep better at night.
If you’re a long distance caregiver, you may be able to save time and money — and truly make the most of each and every visit — when you know that your loved one has a companion who will visit on a regular schedule to play games, go on walks, or share meals with your loved one when you cannot be there in person.
Above all, it’s important to remember that starting with care isn’t about taking anything away from your parent, or changing your relationship. On the contrary! It’s about making things easier, better, safer, and happier, for the both of you. It’s about giving you the space and support you both need to live life to the fullest, truly enjoy your time together, and protect your health.
We know that your senior parents may be hesitant to make these changes and take these positive steps for themselves. But they may be open to doing it for the people they love above all else: your brothers and sisters, your kids, and above all, you.
Companions for Seniors Is Here to Help
Are you a loving and supportive family member of an aging adult? If so, you may be wondering when the time will be right to start those important long-term care conversations – or if now is the moment to begin putting a care plan into action.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns. We’re always here and ready to help make things easier for family caregivers and their elderly loved ones.
Caring for others isn’t just what we do; it’s our passion. We’re always happy to be an open and sympathetic ear, and we’re ready to help guide you in the right direction when it comes to all things home care.
Here at Companions for Seniors, our mission is to empower seniors to live independently and with dignity in the comfort of home by helping them to lead an active and enriched lifestyle, connecting them with their community, and nurturing meaningful relationships.
Our companions are bonded and highly trained, and our team can help your loved ones develop and implement a personalized care plan. In most cases, we can be up and running within just two days.
Our goal is to help older adults maintain a higher quality of life — physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually — while giving family caregivers the chance to get some much-needed respite. Our experienced care professionals can provide a wide range of services, including:
- Companionship, company, and emotional support
- Assistance with activities of daily living
- Housekeeping assistance
- Cooking and meal preparation
- Driving and transportation services
Have any questions? Ready to start thinking seriously about long-term care? We’re here for you. Reach out online today to get the conversation started, or give us a call at 866-910-9020.