How to broach the subject when you think Mum or Dad needs help.
Do you suspect your elderly parent isn’t managing? You might have noticed that:
- it’s harder for them to get around
- they ask for assistance with ordinary tasks
- regular jobs or errands aren’t getting done
- bills are going unpaid
- their appearance or hygiene is deteriorating
- they’re reluctant to leave the house or are missing appointments or social engagements.
Hiring a care worker can provide your loved one with the support they need and help them remain in their own home for longer, but starting the conversation early is key. The sooner you get on the same page, the better prepared you’ll be and the more likely it is that your parent’s wishes will be able to be carried out. So, let’s talk! Here’s how:
- Time it right. This conversation is not one to have when you’re rushed, preoccupied or tired. Choose somewhere private and quiet, where you’ll both be relaxed.
- This conversation can come as a relief to those who have been struggling but unwilling to accept that the time may have come to put some support in place, but in any case, tact is required. No one responds well to the suggestion their appearance or house is untidy. Instead, focus on your desire to make life easier by outsourcing tougher tasks or simply sharing the daily load.
- Ask what successful ageing looks like to them and how they’d like to achieve it – then listen. What do they think they need and the solution might be? Ask open-ended questions: “What’s it like being in the house by yourself now Dad is gone?”
- Ageing can be scary, and your parent may be frustrated or angry that they’re not as able as they once were. This can make them feel out of control, so it might help them to know that home-based care can allow them to reclaim some of that control.
- Give them the calm reassurance that this is not the ‘beginning of the end’. Emphasise that you want to help them maintain their independence, not have someone take over their home.
- Focus on the positives. Having home help might see them less stressed, have more time to do the things they like and even enjoy the company of their care worker.
- Recognise all they can do, and suggest support only for the things they cannot. Narrow down what they need: personal care (eating, bathing, dressing); household care (cooking, cleaning, shopping); healthcare (managing medication, getting to and from doctor’s appointments); and/or emotional care (companionship, social activities).
- Place the control in your parent’s hands. It’s their life and their home – they decide. Offer to support them with hiring a care worker. Explain that if it doesn’t work out, you can always hire someone else.
- Unless the situation is critical, you don’t have to act now. Allow time for what you’ve discussed to sink in before making a decision.
- If the conversation doesn’t go as you’d hoped, don’t give up. Find out more here.
With Mycare, you can choose from a range of care workers in your area, hire the person you prefer at a pay rate that suits you and select the schedule that meets your needs. To find out more, call the Customer Engagement Team on 09 887 9777, or email email@example.com.