3 Tips for Getting Accustomed to Home Health Care

December 2, 2017

Home health care can be a tremendous boon to both aging individuals and their families. These services can be streamlined to meet the needs of the individual. They’re flexible, adaptable, and capable of promoting longer and infinitely more fulfilling lives. Unfortunately, however, many aging adults have a hard time acclimating to the dynamics of these relationships. Whether they’re reticent to lose their sense of independence and autonomy, or simply need more time to warm up to new people, there are ways to make getting accustomed to home health care significantly easier for your loved one.

1. Be Forthright About Changing Needs And Abilities

If you’re a concerned family member who’s recommended home health care services, you may need to have an open and honest discussion about your loved one’s changing abilities. Decreases in cognitive functioning and memory can make it difficult for some aging adults to recognize that their own life qualities are declining. Make a list of talking points and sit down with your relative to review them. You might mention an increased risk of falling or having accidents while preparing food in the kitchen, a limited ability to handle personal care, and the individual’s messy, cluttered home. While discussing these things, make sure to point out the alternatives to home health care, and the consequences of not seeking some form of assistance. At the end of the day, you never want your elderly relative to feel as though you’re forcing his or her hand. When receiving this type of assistance is a decision that seniors are able to arrive at on their own, they’ll often be much less reticent to make this major change.

2. Schedule A Few, Advance Meetings With The New Caregiver

Home care workers are often asked to assist with a number of incredibly personal tasks. For instance, this could be someone who will be helping your loved one bathe and get dressed. Regardless of the level of professionalism that any one of these workers possess, it is still important to give aging adults plenty of time to get to know their new providers. Scheduling meetings several weeks ahead of the caregiver’s start date will allow everyone to obtain an acceptable level of comfort.

3. Let Your Family Member Have The Final Say When Choosing A Caregiver

Seniors represent an incredibly vulnerable demographic. This makes it important for family members to always be on hand to advocate for these individuals and to make sure that all home care service providers have been properly vetted and screened. Each of these steps is key for avoiding problems with neglect and other forms of elder abuse. Ultimately, however, your elderly relative should have the final say in who he or she feels most comfortable working with. Letting seniors take part in this decision will automatically give them a greater level of confidence in their providers.

Adapting to a new home care worker can take time. While it’s always important to diligently screen these professionals, keeping your family member involved in the selection process should remain a top priority. With a positive attitude and a willingness to give seniors ample opportunity to adjust, you can help foster the establishment of this new and incredibly important relationship.

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