What if Mom or Dad Show Signs of Care Needs? How to Open up the Conversation

Gathering together with family during the holiday season is a treasured tradition, and the quality time spent with loved ones is priceless. It’s also a time of heightened awareness of changes that have occurred with family members since the last get-together.

For instance, you may be noticing for the first time that mom just doesn’t quite seem to be herself, and in the back of your mind, you begin to wonder: is it safe for her to continue living on her own?

While a little forgetfulness is common in aging, there are some warning signs that may be cause for concern:

  • A change in the quality of housekeeping – for example, if mom has always kept a pristine kitchen, but suddenly you’re noticing the countertops are full of clutter and the refrigerator is full of old and expired food
  • Confusion or disorientation, particularly with routine tasks
  • Decreased weight and attention to hygiene
  • Issues with balance and mobility
  • Lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities and hobbies, and/or signs of depression

If you begin to notice these or other concerns, it’s best to first talk with the physician. A good next step is to consider enlisting the help of a professional home care agency. But how do you convince mom or dad to accept the extra help at home? This can be a challenge! Many seniors fear that accepting help at home will mean a loss of independence or dignity, and will deny that they need care assistance.

Try some of these conversation starters to allow your loved one to see the situation from your perspective and to make the idea of in-home care less threatening:

  • “You know how much I love you, and I’m worried about your safety and wellbeing. It would lift such a weight off my shoulders if we could talk with someone about ways to make it easier for you to get around the house and remain as independent as possible. Can I arrange that for us?”
  • “You’ve worked so hard all of these years to keep the house clean and in order. Now it’s time for you to relax and be pampered a bit. I know someone who can come in to help with cleaning, shopping, meals and laundry, and you and I could then spend more quality time together. How does that sound?”
  • Since mom passed away, I know it’s been hard for you to feel up to cooking, and it seems as though you’ve been losing some weight. Why don’t we talk about bringing someone in to take care of planning and preparing meals for a little while?”

An in-home care agency, such as Home Matters, can provide a wide range of personalized caregiving services, including:

  • Companionship and conversation
  • Grocery shopping
  • Meal planning and preparation
  • Hygiene assistance, including bathing and dressing
  • Light housekeeping
  • Walking assistance
  • Errands and transportation
  • Help with bills and mail
  • Medication reminders
  • Help with correspondence
  • And much more

To learn more about how our Senior care services can enhance the safety and well-being of your senior loved ones.

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