Your elderly relative has long been unable to take care of himself and needs help, but, despite endless persuasions, continues to deny this fact? “I can handle it myself” – this is what old people often say when family and friends offer them to hire an assistant or a professional housekeeper. Grandfather may already not see well, but he still continues to drive a car. Grandmother is no longer able to wash her hair on her own, but insists that she does not need any special help and can wash the floors, go to the store and cook as she did before.
Before you start to blame the elderly relatives for their stubbornness, try to imagine how they feel. After many years of active life, confrontation with problems and independent decisions, it is very difficult to simply admit and say to yourself: “Now I can’t do all these things on my own. Now I need an assistant.”
So how do we convince our beloved ones that they really need the help of a nurse or a care assistant? How to make them believe that it is absolutely real to find a professional and decent person whom they can trust…
It is best to prepare the ground in advance. Start talking about the possibility of hiring an assistant even before the memory and physical capabilities of a loved one start to decline. With the development of dementia, an old person can feel worse from year to year, and probably after a few years the nurse will not only feed the person and monitor his well-being, but also do perineal care and be responsible for other duties. Explain to your elderly relative that the assistant can take care not only of the house or follow the doctor’s instructions, but also be a companion – they can go for walks together and enjoy talking to each other. Give a couple of positive examples. Tell about a family you know that has care assistants and experiences no negative consequences. Mention that it became much easier for them to live and that everyone is happy.
Be patient. Ask more questions about why your relative does not want helpers in the house. What are the fears, prejudices, anxieties? Listen calmly, attentively as sometimes all it takes is to give a person a chance to speak out about things that torment him.
Involve your relative in the process of search for an assistant (let him attend the interviews, ask questions, plan the schedules).
Enlist the support of those whom your beloved one really trusts. It can be an old friend or a doctor or a family member. Let the trustee tell about things that you could not explain.
Make a list. List all the existing difficulties. Next to each item, write how the problem can be solved with the help of a nurse / assistant. This will help to clearly see the situation, add some determination to you, and possibly convince your beloved one to agree to hire assistant.