Taking Charge of In-Home Care for an Elderly RelativeJanuary 20, 2021
Taking Charge of In-Home Care for an Elderly Relative:
You’ve made the difficult decision to act as a caregiver to an elderly parent. One of the things you might find difficult is the role reversal. For much of your life, they’ve been in charge. They were the ones telling you to clean your room, brush your teeth, and what you were having for dinner. Now you’re in charge of their care, and the authority dynamic has shifted.
Or has it?
“Mom makes it clear that she still runs the show, and that I’m there to help,” said Marie, who provides care for her parents, both of whom are in their 80s and live in their home. “That makes it tough when difficult decisions need to be made.”
Making the Tough Calls for an Elderly Relative in Home Care
There are some strategies for dealing with parents who resist home care and for those who resist the changed dynamic or relationship. Experts say that above all else, preserving your relationship with your parent is the most important thing.
Focus on getting them care that they need and will accept, but don’t alienate them in the process. Drastic steps like ignoring their wishes or seeking an outside authority (whether it be a medical professional or a legal one) to make decisions can damage your relationship permanently. The keys to getting your elderly parent the care they need lie in planning and communication.
Making an In-Home Care Plan
Whether you’re just bringing them groceries once a week or formally becoming a paid caregiver, it’s important to have a care plan. Figure out what you will handle for your parents, and what they will continue to do on their own.
Have the difficult conversations about larger issues now, before having to make those important decisions becomes more urgent. This is the time to ease your parents into the idea that you will be taking on a role of authority as well as one of service. The plan doesn’t need to be formal, but it should be something that is agreed on by everyone and in writing. That way, you can refer back to it when there is a disagreement about what the best course of action will be going forward.
Talking to an Elderly Relative about In-Home Care
Making an in-home care plan for your elderly relatives is a start, but you’ll need to continue the conversation as well. Discussing immediate needs is good, but always make sure to keep an eye towards the future. This lets your elderly parent know that you are looking out for their well-being and are collaborating with them on their care. Building this kind of trust should smooth the road in the future.
Be Realistic When it Comes to Conflict with Your Elderly Parent
While taking precautions like developing an in-home care plan and being open in communicating with your parents can help, inevitably there will be conflict. Here are a few tips for how to deal with these conflicts:
- Focus on the solution, rather than the problem. Parents will often say “I don’t need help” in the abstract, so provide specifics about what you can do rather than pointing out their deficiencies.
- Keep the stakes in mind. If the conflict is about something that doesn’t matter much in the long run, consider whether or not it merits a conflict. For example, Marie was in conflict with her dad. “He likes his ice cream, but he’s a Type 2 diabetic. Eventually, I decided it wasn’t worth fighting about. His blood sugar is in pretty good control, and he’s in his late 80s. Why deny him his favorite thing? Of course, I started buying a low sugar ice cream, but he doesn’t know that…”
- Disconnect and practice self-care. Caregiver stress is real, and it can have effects on you beyond your relationship with your parents. Getting away from the situation can help you think more clearly, be healthier yourself, and may lead you to a better solution to the conflict anyway. Also, a caregiver support group may help you discuss ideas and find better ways to manage the conflict.
- Ask for help, and take a break when you need to. It’s ok to step away. Whether you ask a friend to help out so you can take a break, or hire a professional in-home caregiver to provide some respite care, stepping away will allow you to take care of yourself better and ultimately take care of your parents better.
Home Care Powered by AUAF offers a competitive hourly rate of $14 an hour to our caregivers. This rate is dependent upon performance. Successful performance is completion and submission of monthly task sheets and timely punch in and out. We also offer additional compensation for traveling time and mileage. This amount is higher than the average pay rate for caregivers around the country.
The Care Giving Options You Have
Ultimately, you may decide being a family caregiver may not be for you. If you find that you may not be the right fit for your parent, you have options. We have trained caregivers for you.
Many people looking to be caregivers often do so because of a family member that may have a disability. We can provide caregivers for a parent with a disability in the case that you cannot. More commonly, this will be with elderly individuals that have dementia or Alzheimer’s. If you have any questions about your specific situation, be sure to reach out to us.
Home Care Powered by AUAF is Here to Help
Whether it’s having one of our in-home caregivers provide care or starting on the path to becoming a paid caregiver yourself, the dedicated professionals at Home Care Powered by AUAF are here to help your parents get the in-home care they need. Call us at 877.782.4926 or contact us to learn more.
In-Home Care Precautions During COVID-19
We provide care to vulnerable senior populations. That is why we are taking extra precautions when continuing to provide service and care. Staff is receiving additional guidance when they are providing home care or any other face-to-face visits. This comes in the form of a COVID-19 Screening Questionnaire. There are also a variety of other precautions we are taking for our staff and home care recipients during this time.
We take the safety and care of all those we reach very seriously and are doing all that we can to stay informed about best practices during this time.
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