For many mature adults, hiring a caregiver symbolizes the beginning of their loss of independence. That thought can be scary, and your parents may need some encouragement to accept a caregiver into their home. While they aren’t yet ready to give up their independence and move into a retirement home, they may need assistance with household chores, errands or even companionship. With respect, honor and tenderness, use seven tips to introduce and warm your parents up to the idea of hiring an in-home caregiver.
A caregiver actually increases your parents’ independence because it means they can remain in the home they love. Emphasize this point when approaching the idea of hiring an in-home caregiver. Remind your parents that a caregiver won’t take over their lives, and write a list of things your parents will still be able to do on their own, including dressing, cooking and bathing themselves. As you reinforce the independence your parents will enjoy, you ease one of their concerns and give them something to consider as they investigate in-home caregivers.
Address Privacy Concerns
In addition to losing independence, your parents may see a caregiver as an invasion of privacy. Reassure your parents that a caregiver won’t automatically take over the fiancés or spend all day and night by your parents’ side. A caregiver can provide assistance for as little as an hour a day. Their help actually increases your parent’s privacy as it enables your parents to remain in their own home.
Focus on You
As natural caregivers, your parents don’t want to be cared for, so take advantage of their nurturing nature and focus on your needs. Tell them that the caregiver is more for you than for them. With a caregiver handling the cleaning and cooking, you can focus on transporting your parents to appointments, or a caregiver who handles errands gives you more time to care for your parents’ personal needs. Emphasize how a caregiver would make your life easier as you appeal to your parents’ protective and nurturing instincts.
Suggest Care for One Parent
Both of your parents may need assistance, but you could ease the transition by appealing to your healthier or more mobile parent. Express concern that he or she may be working too hard and may need a small break during the day. By hiring a caregiver, your more independent parent receives assistance with household chores and thus also receives the help he or she needs.
Enlist Help From a Trusted Non-Family Member
While your parents love you, they may not listen to you because you’re still their child. Call in a doctor or trusted family friend to have an honest conversation with your parents. The trusted non-family member may have more weight in convincing your parents to make the best decision for their current comfort, safety and independence.
List the Caregiver’s Qualities
Concerns about a caregiver’s character may be one reason your parents resist the idea. Assure your parents that every caregiver undergoes thorough screenings, and take time to discuss qualities your parents want in a caregiver. Honesty, a sense of humor, cooking ability or a listening ear might top the list. Reassure your parents that they can use this list as a guideline when hiring someone who will provide them with the help they need.
Outline the Caregiver’s Responsibilities
Next, discuss the responsibilities your parents need from their professional caregiver. Tidying up the house, doing laundry or cooking meals may top the list, or your parents may prefer help running errands, organizing medications or providing companionship. Whether your parents want and need a caregiver for an hour a day or full-time, narrow down the list the responsibilities they want a caregiver to perform.
Employing an in-home caregiver can be a difficult decision for your parents to make. Try these seven tips as you introduce and warm your parents up to the idea that they need help. Then, remain patient, respectful and loving as you keep an eye on your parents’ health and well-being.