Your aging parents are beginning to display some telltale signs that help at home is needed. Perhaps you’re finding expired food in the cabinets and fridge, burn marks on pots and pans that could indicate a dangerous cooking accident, lapses in memory and judgment. Yet when you suggest offering a helping hand, they balk at the idea. Why? And what can you do to help them accept the need for care?
To find the answer requires taking a step back in time. Think about the life your aging parents have lived to this point: raising children, climbing the corporate ladder, maintaining a home, yard, and garden. As young and middle-aged adults, we’re in charge of most aspects of our daily lives, and that feeling of control and purpose plays a big part in our identity.
As we age, however, life can become more challenging in a number of ways – whether through the normal aging process, a chronic health condition, medication side effects, or others. Transitioning from being in control to needing help isn’t easy – and often is even more difficult when the help is being offered by your adult child, as suddenly roles are reversed.
To help your aging parents not only accept but welcome help, try these tips:
- Start small. While you may feel that your parents could benefit from assistance in a number of areas, choose one that can be presented as a welcomed relief, such as housework, preparing meals, or running errands such as grocery shopping.
- Realize it will likely take more than one conversation with your parents. If your initial suggestion is met with resistance, shelve the idea and try again later. At least you’ve planted the seed, and given your parents food for thought.
- Rather than offering to personally help your aging parents, partner with a professional and trusted home care agency, like SYNERGY HomeCare. This alleviates the sense of burdening an adult child, and allows your parents to hear from aging care experts who are skilled and experienced in helping other seniors maintain the lifestyle to which they’re accustomed.
It can also be helpful to let your parents know that home care services started early can prevent the need for a move to an assisted living facility, as they provide a continuum of care approach that meets needs both now and as those needs change over time.
At SYNERGY HomeCare, the top-rated providers of private home care services in Chicago and the surrounding areas, we offer a free in-home consultation, during which we listen to the concerns of seniors and their families, and provide recommendations on how we can help. And, we’re skilled in understanding and helping to overcome the reservations many seniors express about accepting assistance.