You understand that your family member’s happiness is based on their ability to live independently, so it’s a fine balance to assure them that they can still live in their home but will need some assistance to remain there. Your loved one may be fearful about giving up some of their responsibilities and it may take a number of conversations to make this happen.
This article explores tried and tested methods to ensure introducing the concept of home care services goes smoothly and can be discussed calmly and with mutual respect.
It’s a good idea to choose a relaxed and neutral location to discuss in-home help. Some location ideas include a local park, on the front veranda with a cuppa or while doing an activity together such as gardening.
Open the chat with a general observation, for example, “Mum, I have noticed over the last few months you’re having difficulty putting the washing out and doing the ironing”.
Then move to the topic of in-home help with a focus on retaining independence. Stress the importance of accepting help if they wish to continue living independently.
Listen to your family member. Sometimes a lull in the conversation will help your loved one gather their thoughts so they can open up about how they would like to age and what they believe this will look like.
Reinforce the importance of independence. Your loved one may have declined your own offers of assistance in the past, so the thought of having someone else helping out may feel like a threat to their independence or signify weakness. It’s good to stress that home care is designed for them to remain in their home, living their chosen lifestyle for as long as possible.
In-home care is about empowering your family member. Recognising help is needed, means your loved one is actively managing their own ability to live exactly as they wish. In fact, Australia’s consumer-directed model of care ensures that your loved one will have complete control of the care services they engage with and how they may help.
If the health and safety of your family member is not at imminent or serious risk, then introducing the concept of home care with a small level of assistance may be the way to go. For example, the elderly mother who was having difficulty with washing and ironing could have a home carer visit once or twice a week to put a load of washing on and help with folding and ironing.
Introducing a trusted health professional or close family friend to the conversation with your family member to help take the emotion out of the conversation. Taking this approach may assist with keeping the focus on the facts and reduce the risk of a heated discussion.
Taking care of a loved one when you know they are struggling at home can place enormous pressure on a son, daughter or other relative. Let your loved one know that accepting help is, in fact, helping you too. In-home care will free up your loved one’s time and your own time too, so you can both focus on spending the time you have together in a meaningful way.
Whatever your situation, starting the conversation with your loved one is a positive step. It may take a series of these conversations, so patience and persistence may be needed!
By calling us on 1300 610 610, we can support you through the process of applying for and organising home care services. We can assist you to register with My Aged Care for an Aged Care Assessment. This is the first step to receiving a home care package.
Once you have been visited by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT), our Concierge team will work with you to understand how you want your life to look and the services you need to help you reach your goals.
You can contact our Concierge team for a free, confidential and no-obligation discussion by calling 1300 610 610 or online form.