It’s really never too soon to start thinking about bringing in help for your aging family member. If you go about it the wrong way, though, you might end up in a battle.
Get an Understanding of What Your Senior Needs
What does your senior really need now? And what is she likely to need in the future? It’s important to look at every aspect of her life, from driving to household tasks, personal care, and mobility. When you understand where your senior needs help and what type of help she needs, it’s going to be a lot easier to line up that help for her.
Try to Plan Ahead, if Possible
Maybe your senior is okay to drive for now. How long does it reasonably seem that will continue to be possible? What you’re trying to do with questions like that is to get ahead of her needs a little bit. Always being in crisis mode and putting out fires is exhausting for a family caregiver and it’s a good way to burn yourself out.
Keep Your Senior Involved in Conversations about Help
If you’re tempted to make these decisions completely on your own with no input from your senior, know in advance that’s a bad idea. You’re making decisions about her life, so it’s vital that she has a say in those conversations. Think about how you would want to be treated if you were in her shoes.
Remember to Treat Your Senior Respectfully
Along the same lines, do your best to always treat your senior and her opinions with respect. That’s true whether you agree with her assessment or not. Bossing her around probably isn’t your main goal. Your main goal is making sure she has her needs met and that her quality of life is as high as possible. Respecting her helps you to get there.
Know When to Ease Back and Reassess
Your senior might resist a lot more fiercely than you expect. At some point, you’re going to have to draw back and reassess when it’s a better time to bring up the idea of having help. Having time to think about it all some more may help your senior to change her mind.
As your elderly family member’s needs change, the level of help that she needs is going to change, too. Elder care providers can adjust the care that they provide to meet your senior where she is, which is a good reason to start bringing help in earlier.