You, the caregiver, desperately need regular breaks, but your older adult absolutely refuses an in-home caregiver. What can you do?

Seniors often won’t admit they need help, even if they are struggling with everyday tasks. In-home care can be a sensitive topic which leads to arguments and hard feelings. Your older adult may see it as a waste of money, an insult to their abilities or an invasion of privacy. The Family Caregiver Alliance suggests 8 ways to make  the transition easier and overcome a negative response.

  1. Start slowly and allow your senior to process and get used to the idea of having someone in the home. Starting with just a few hours a week with someone performing less personal tasks might help.
  2. Listen to your older adult’s fears and reasons why they don’t want in-home care. Instead of shutting down the objections, allow your older adult to express their feelings. Acknowledging your senior’s fears is important and involving them in the hiring process may help.
  3. Help them retain dignity by saying the help is for you, not them.
  4. Use the doctor’s authority and say that it is a prescribed service. Many older adults respect a doctor’s authority.
  5. Use housekeeping needs as the reason for getting help. Let the senior know that you need support with chores.
  6. Pretend that the service is not very expensive or free.
  7. Introduce the caregiver as a friend. Introduce the caregiver as a friend of yours who needs companionship.
  8. Tell them it is a temporary arrangement. Your senior may change their mind as they become more comfortable and adjust to the change.