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How to Have a Conversation About Senior Home Services with Your Loved One accent

March 27, 2024 | By

At-home care comes with many valuable benefits. However, you may be wondering whether these services would be a good fit for your parent or other loved one who is living independently but could use a helping hand.

If you’re ready to talk to your loved one about at-home services, prepare with these tips for a productive and meaningful conversation.

Preparing for the Conversation

Before you begin the conversation, do your research to understand at-home care, the options available, and the benefits of those services. 

Learn about at-home care. 

Also referred to as “home care,” “home health,” or “senior home services,” at-home services are in-home support services provided by an outside agency. Generally, the options are medical or non-medical services. Depending on your loved one’s needs, a caregiver, nurse, or other medical professional visits for an agreed-upon number of hours to provide personalized support. At-home services offer numerous benefits, including greater independence, stronger relationships, better health, increased socialization, and more.

Brainstorm ways to support your loved one.

Meet with other people who care about your loved one and collaboratively discuss ways to support them and ensure they feel comfortable with the services.

For example, can you be with them for the first few home aide visits? Can you support them if finances for an additional service are a concern? Whether the answer to these questions is “yes” or “no,” it’s OK. Simply knowing the answer will help ensure the conversation isn’t derailed. 

Engaging with Your Loved One

Once you’re ready to discuss, choose the right time and setting. A quiet and comfortable space can help you and your loved one feel relaxed and not rushed. Make sure the location is private to minimize distractions for a focused conversation.

Throughout the conversation, ask your loved one to share their thoughts and validate their feelings.

Focus on the positive.

Express the concerns that led you to consider at-home services, such as observing your loved one struggle with tasks, but try to avoid suggesting senior home services as a solution to a problem.

Instead, position at-home services as a valuable add-on to your loved one’s life — a way to enhance independence, decrease stress with potentially challenging tasks, and experience better health.

Explain the role of an aide.

Highlight the positives of assistance at home, such as the freedom it could offer, the opportunity to engage in activities they enjoy, and the chance to form a meaningful relationship with someone who can assist them.

Be sure to talk about aides as if they are personal assistants. Focus not on what your loved one needs help with, but on which chores or tasks they might want help doing. 

Respect their autonomy.

Your loved one may worry that at-home services will lead to a loss of independence. Assure them that the goal of these services is the opposite — the services are intended to support independence and ensure safety, not take away autonomy.

Ask for their input.

Except when a loved one cannot safely make decisions about their own care, it is ultimately up to them to decide what services best fit their lifestyle and needs.

In most cases, you should ask for their input regarding the type of assistance they would prefer or the activities with which they would appreciate support. Based on your previous research into at-home services, align their wants and needs with various options for at-home care, including different services and the frequency of services. 

Be prepared for resistance or concerns.

Listen actively and address their worries, whether they are concerned about paying high costs or having a stranger in their home. Offer a different perspective while being respectful of their feelings. For example, if they feel uneasy about having an aide in their home, ask them to consider the possibility that this person could become an acquaintance or, potentially, a friend.

 

Next Steps for Senior Home Services 

If your loved one feels hesitant about pursuing at-home services, consider starting with a trial period or minimal assistance to ease into the idea. This gradual approach might help them feel more comfortable.

If they’re not open to the idea — or if the initial discussion doesn’t lead to an immediate decision — give them time to process the information. Revisit the topic later, gently reminding them of the benefits and the importance of ensuring their well-being.

If they’re interested in at-home services, take time to learn more together so they can make an informed decision that leads to a higher quality of life.

One place to start is completing this quick assessment to see whether it’s time to sign up for at-home services. You can take the assessment yourself or share it with your loved one to take on their own.

Are at homes services right for you or your loved one? Take the free assessment

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