My parents are aging and need help with daily activities in their home
Aging in place describes the ability of an individual to remain in their home and community during the aging process. This is the opposite of institutional care, such as a Skilled Nursing Facility. Assistance can be provided in one’s own home – by family, agency staff, or a combination of both. In some cases, participants need just a bit more help to remain independent. This type of person centered care is the focus of our mission at accessAbilities. We are able to provide a qualified caregiver to provide the assistance, and that extra safety net needed to help individuals remain at home.
Starting the conversation
Choose the appropriate time and place to talk to your parents about getting help. As the old saying goes, timing is everything. Make an effort to focus on independence and list the advantages of having assistance. Explain why hiring a caregiver is a way for your parent to maintain their lifestyle in their own home and community. Paint a visual picture for them. Has your loved one fallen recently? Are there community activities she really enjoys? Is the laundry area harder to reach these days? Would assistance mean that Mom is able to get out and do her shopping as she once did? Illustrating the situation can be very effective in beginning the conversation. Once the conversation begins, remember to mitigate any fears she has. Fear is a common reaction when considering assistance in the home. Things such as a loss of independence, dignity, control and financial worries are typical. The presence of an outsider in one’s home can make a person feel extremely vulnerable. Take this into consideration, and respond with empathy rather than frustration. Take the time to realize that your own emotions may be impacting the conversation and increasing resistance.
Choosing a Caregiver
First, recognize your parents’ need to make their own decisions and remain in control of their lives. As people age, limits are often placed on their autonomy due to illness, lack of resources, and the quality of their family relations. It is important to consult your siblings, and if possible, to agree on one course to follow. Families working together make these choices simpler for everyone. This action will reassure your parents and help them to know you all may be depended upon. As health challenges arise, be sure to educate yourselves. Be aware of your parents’ diagnoses, their medications, and physical needs.
Initially, small changes and adjustments with a bit of assistance from family may be all that is needed. If more assistance is required, a qualified home care agency can provide services that will bridge the gap and insure safety and continued quality of life in their home.
Nancy Austin, Director accessAbilities Home & Community Services
- Chapman University, Orange, CA graduate
- Experience includes 18 years in long-term care; advocate for Independence and Quality
of Life for individuals with disabilities by maintaining a strong focus on the provision of care.