How to Talk to Your Aging Parents About Home Healthcare

It should come as no surprise that most of the population prefers to live at home as long as possible. However, it has been estimated that nearly 70 percent of those who live beyond 65 years will eventually need long-term care. Typically, this means home health care or a move to an assisted living facility or long-term care facility. In-home care offers the best of both worlds — living at home and receiving the care they need. To many seniors, accepting home healthcare means losing their independence. We would like to offer some suggestions to help you talk to your aging parent about home health care options.

Include them in the decision.

One major reason that aging adults react with anger when the idea of in-home care is not their own. While it is not always feasible to wait for your parent to come up with the idea, it is a great idea to not force it upon them. Discuss the options and present solutions, allow your parent to evaluate the options and think about it before making calls and scheduling evaluations. If the decision is to hire an in-home companion, allow your parent to help select the home health agency and interview the companions. Giving the senior choices and letting them make decisions makes it more likely that they will accept the care.

Don’t tell them they need home health care.

This can be difficult, but it is important not to direct your aging loved one that they need home health. It is a better idea to lead them to the idea. You can approach the subject by offering them a personal assistant who can help them with activities like grocery shopping, handling the bills, and cleaning the house. Focus on the things they are struggling with, and offer a companion or home health aide as a solution for assistance. The moment you tell them that they need help because their health is failing or they are having difficulty managing their lives, they may interpret it as an attack.

Accentuate the positive.

Home health care, assisted living, and long-term care are terms that are associated with the end of life. Your parent may continue to resist the offer for any of these services because of the negative reputation that these facilities (inaccurately) carry and that they are associated with “old people.” When you accentuate the positives of in-home care — help with chores, freeing them up to enjoy hobbies; the reduced cost of home health versus a live-in facility — it makes the idea easier to accept.

Start small.

When you bring up the subject of in-home care, offer to start small. Reassure your loved one that they are in no way a burden, but that you’d like to call for professional reinforcements. Start with respite care, call in a home health aide for a day or two. Once your senior meets their companion, and appreciates the services they provide, offer the care part-time and suggest full-time. Many times, when your parent is able to see the benefits, they are more likely to accept the care.

Call in reinforcements.

If your aging parent will not listen to you or you are not sure how to bring it up, call for help. You can suggest close friends or family members that are close to your parent, their opinion may carry more weight. You can ask their physician or physical therapist to suggest the idea if your family’s suggestions do not seem to be heard.

If your loved one is receptive or you want to enlist some help starting the discussion, contact the team at Angels on Call Homecare. We offer respite care, in-home companions, and part or full-time home health aids. Additionally, we offer skilled nursing care, physical therapy, transportation services, along with housekeeping and a range of other services. For all of your aging parents’ needs, contact us.

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