Tuesday Tips for Caregivers – Transitioning to Professional Home Care
There are several guidelines to follow if you want to help your loved one transition to professional home care. Even if you’re loved one is not receptive to the idea of introducing a new member into the household, remember to think about the overall picture: What is in the best interest for you, your loved one, and the rest of the family? Consider these tips*:
- Transition slowly: When you find an aide, hire them for only a few hours or days of the week. Your aide will likely begin to build rapport with your loved one, which leads to trust. Eventually, your loved one may not mind having someone around the house after all.
- Validate your loved one’s concerns: One of the ultimate traits to have as a family caregiver is to listen to your loved one and to take their concerns very seriously. Perhaps you can find a compromise throughout your discussions.
- Call the aide “your friend”: Many times, family members will refer to their aide as a friend who is coming over to help out around the house. The fact that this new visitor is considered a friend can already help build an initial layer of trust between your loved one and the aide. The aide may have to wear regular clothes (and not scrubs) to maintain a level of normalcy.
- Say that YOU need the help: Shifting the burden on you may help your loved one preserve their sense of independence. You can just say that having some extra help will allow you to worry less when you have to run errands or when you are away from the house.
- Say the services are free: If finances are a concern for your loved one, you could tell them that the services are free if it’s possible to conceal that information.
- Doctor’s recommendation: If you tell them that having an aide was recommended by a doctor, perhaps the authority that medical doctors have might have some influence over their perception of the matter.
- Cleaning around the house: You can say the reason for an aide could be for cleaning, even if they’re there to care for your loved one. This strategy also changes the focus from your loved one to an external source: the house.
*Note: If you feel uncomfortable “fibbing” to your loved one, then this is understandable. There is much to be said for therapeutic lies to help alleviate the concern of your loved one. But if they make you feel uncomfortable, then think of ways to express yourself as honestly as possible in ways that will help your loved one react positively.
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