older relative

How To Speak To A Loved One About Care 

Thursday 16th May 2024 |

Do you live with an older relative who is struggling to maintain their health, their home or their hygiene? 

As people age, these seemingly simple tasks can become harder due to mobility issues, mental health, as well as neurological degeneration. If you notice that your elderly relative is struggling, it is time to have a talk with them about care.  

Now, this is not to say that they need to move into a care home! It is best to start with care at home and, should the need arise, look into care homes at a later date. So, how do you talk to your loved one about care? Here are some tips to follow. 

Don’t Be Demeaning! 

The best conversations that are had between family members are those based in respect. Even if your loved one is acting childish, that is no reason to talk to them as if they are a child. Be respectful, be open and, if possible, look online with them for homecare near me, to help them see what you are talking about, rather than just overloading them with information. 

Plant The Seed Early 

If you are working full time or have kids of your own and your own life to juggle, then it can be easy to overlook the needs of your elderly parent or relative. However, surprising them with a conversation about care is not going to bode well for your relationship with them, so aim to plant the seed as early as possible. This will allow them to adjust to the idea and will help them to be and feel more involved.  

Be Prepared for Emotive Responses 

It doesn’t really matter how good the relationship with your loved one is or how well you think they will receive the news that you think they need a bit of help; the law of averages states that they will likely be a bit offended! This is not necessarily a bad thing, but if you go into this without a plan for emotive responses, you are going to be surprised and upset.  

Don’t Expect an Answer Straightaway 

This is another reason why you need to plant the seed early. You cannot expect someone to just agree to home help or care after one conversation. Give it time and be patient; some people may have a few months before they need care in the home, so try to warm them up to the idea without badgering them. Again, that approach is unlikely to end well for anyone! 

Keep Them Involved 

You need to ensure that you don’t take over the entire process, as this can build resentment. Aim to talk openly about home care, but be sure to keep your loved one involved in which home care provider they have, as well as when the carer visits the home. If your loved one doesn’t gel with their carer, aim to look into getting another one for them. Keeping them involved will help them to be more in control, will help their mental health and wellbeing, and will, in the long term, help them to adjust to home-based care. 

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