A Difficult Conversation
From receiving a diagnosis for a condition that requires and benefits from in-home care to actually implementing the use of a caregiver, there are many steps in between – one of the steps of that process is the sometimes difficult conversation you might need to have with your loved one to help them understand the criticality and need for in-home care.
In-home care is necessary for a variety of conditions ranging from Azlheimer’s, Dementia, and Parkinsons to Stroke, Cancer, and Post-op rehabilitative care. The level of in-home care and the experience or skills of the caregiver needed for these conditions vary greatly, but the common factor is that there is significant benefit from an in-home caregiver to provide experienced and nuanced care specific to the condition at hand.
Approaching this conversation with full knowledge, compassion and patience is key to ensuring that this process is a smooth transition for both you and your loved one. Most seniors find it difficult to accept their diagnosis and that they need caregiving to help them with seemingly simple, daily tasks that they have done as a part of a rich, independent life for years. Others see it as a compromise of their independence. Whatever the case, hesitation and pushback is normal and to be expected – the key is to navigate and address it from a position of knowledge, compassion and patience since it will take them time to come to terms with the new normal.
Below, we explore the most common reasons for resisting in-home care and we share information and strategies to help navigate these challenging conversations.
- “I don’t need help”
- This is one of the most common sentiments expressed by people who have been diagnosed with a progressive condition. Due to the nature of their condition and thanks in part to medical advancements that allow for early diagnosis, some individuals might not see the need for a caregiver because they are seemingly capable at that moment. However, a progressive condition ilke Alzheimer’s or Dementia deteriorates over time causing patients to become forgetful or disoriented. Daily tasks like driving or cooking become challenging, and soon require full-time support or to have someone do them altogether. These conditions typically benefit with early intervention in terms of caregiving.
- Condition or time-specific care for people who have suffered from Stroke, or are undergoing cancer treatment, or post-operative care is essential for their recovery and well-being. An experienced in-home caregiver can monitor their medication, any therapies, and transportation to and from necessary appointments.
- Health & Safety – As people generally age or are diagnosed with a condition, it becomes important that they are not left alone for long periods of time. With Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Parkinsons, or post-operative care, there is an associated fall risk which is reduced by the presence of a full-time caregiver.
- “I don’t want a stranger in my home”
- Again, this is a very common and valid concern for your loved one to feel apprehensive about living with a caregiver, or having them in your home for several hours in the day.
- It’s important to note that at Care Mountain, our caregivers go through a thorough interview process where they have to both demonstrate and speak to their skills, as well as going through an extensive background and reference check to verify their credentials and experience.
- Between the background check and the detailed interview process that Care Mountain uses to match caregivers with patients, over time the person working with your-loved one will start to feel like a family member.
- Care Mountain also ensures that caregivers work in a tag-team style partnership that has the same caregivers in your home for as long as possible. This ensures that caregivers entering your home are the same team so that they are familiar with your loved-one and their needs.
- “Why can’t you help?”
- The answer to this one is a little more complex and will probably require the most patience to navigate. While caring for your loved one is something feasible in the short-term, it often falls apart in the long run.
- The demanding nature of these conditions requires an experienced caregiver who is well-versed in symptoms, next steps, and how to manage any issues that could potentially occur.
- In-home care is a 24/7 role, the reality is that this is next to impossible to manage for someone who is not a full-time caregiver. With your daily responsibilities ranging from work, childcare, children’s academics and extracurriculars, to finding time for yourself or your spouse or friends – there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to do both.
- There is also the complex nature of the caregiving process. As symptoms worsen or become more pronounced as the condition progresses, the patient requires more help and support. The challenges of a parent waking up their adult child at 3am to help with toileting or requiring help is more difficult to navigate versus calling on a professional who has been assigned to this role to help.
- Having a separate caregiver to help allows family members to spend quality time together not worrying about issues that can be managed by a caregiver.
The timing and setting of these conversations is also very important. Discussing the need for a caregiver in a more private or personal setting is far more beneficial than bringing up the topic at a family event with multiple people or a coffee shop or restaurant. Timing wise, ensure that your loved one is well rested, has had time to accept and come to terms with their diagnosis, and is in a calm state before you have the conversation.
It would be wonderful to have the conversation once and have it end in a satisfactory conclusion. However, it may require multiple conversations and repeating reassurances. The key thing is to approach it with a lens of compassion and an awareness that this is a tremendous amount of change for your loved one to accept.
At Care Mountain, we have over 17 years of focused experience providing in-home care and support for you or your loved ones across the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex. Our thorough and extensive hiring process ensures that we work with experienced caregivers who understand the multiple factors that require in-home caregiving.
Our experience also helps us provide a nuanced and personalized level of care throughout Dallas and Ft. Worth areas. Caregiving is a full-time requirement that most family members cannot provide on a part-time basis.
Care Mountain’s extensive network of in-home caregivers can provide support across the Metroplex across Plano, Allen, McKinney, Preston Hollow, Dallas, Highland Park, Fort Worth, Southlake, Arlington and many more. Contact us today to see how we can help provide support and 24/7 care to help you or your loved one navigate their journey of in-home care.