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Turning Over A New Leaf: How to Talk to Your Loved One About Caregiving

32If you know that it’s time to talk to your parent or loved one about in-home care but are worried about how receptive they will be to the idea, you are not alone. For many, broaching the subject of caregiving is difficult, as you may worry that your parent will be insulted, argumentative or upset with you as you suggest enhancing their care.

There are, however, ways to prepare for the conversation that can make it easier on you and them.

First, if possible, don’t wait until there is a crisis to begin talking about a new care routine. Try to bring it up before something dangerous happens, or potentially just after your loved one has an “almost” scare, such as a fall down the stairs that was avoided, or a mishap in the kitchen that you caught just in time.

When you bring up the topic, try to present it in a way that lets your loved one know that decisions have not been made without them. Be sensitive to the fact that although you may have been considering hiring someone to help them with their daily activities for a long time, this may be the first moment they have ever considered it. Try to give them some options, as there are many available, and reassure them that you will still be there for them just as much as you are now.

Finally, be straightforward and honest, but also be patient. Give them concrete examples of ways a caregiver could make their quality of life better on a daily basis. Once you give them some time to consider how nice it would be to have company throughout the day as well as help running errands and taking care of everyday chores, they will likely be appreciative of the research you’ve done to find a good caregiver and grateful for your love and support.

Carol Pardue-Spears

Carol has worked in the healthcare field for more than forty years. As a Certified Nursing Assistant, she worked for El Camino Hospital in the cardiac unit, Los Gatos Community Hospital, The Women’s Cancer Center in Los Gatos and several home health and hospice agencies. Carol founded Family Matters in 2002 to fill a deficit she witnessed in high-quality, in-home services and care.