A senior male in a wheelchair sitting in a living room with his adult daughter and a Right at Home owner, discussing in-home care options. A senior male in a wheelchair sitting in a living room with his adult daughter and a Right at Home owner, discussing in-home care options.

Having the Post-Holiday Care Conversation

Special recipes, cherished traditions, and festive décor are all reasons we love the holidays! The holidays are a great time to connect with family members who may live far away. It is sometimes the first time in several years that the whole family gathers in the same place. Relatives can’t believe how fast the children have grown, and we may get the opportunity to meet new members of the extended family.

But not all the changes we notice are positive. Some red flags may alert adult children that their parents are no longer able to take care of their homes or even themselves. Perhaps clutter is filling the house, mail is piling up, or a loved one appears to have lost an unhealthy amount of weight. After the hustle and bustle of the holidays pass, we may begin to consider if our older relative is still able to take care of themselves and their home.

Family members might suggest a move to assisted living or other supportive housing for older adults. However, we know that most people want to stay in their homes as they get older. The AARP reports that 75% of adults aged 50 and older want to age in place, but a third of those know that they will need to make modifications to their homes to do so. For these seniors, in-home care is a perfect resource for support, providing a variety of services that help older adults live safely at home. Home care experts report that January is a common time for people to make inquiries into home care, after they have touched base with relatives who they may not see often.

Have the Conversation

What’s the best way to suggest in-home care support for an older relative? Seniors are used to making their own decisions and may be reluctant to admit they need assistance. Before you bring up home care to your older relative, take some tips from home care experts about the best way to start.

Empathize. Listen to your loved one’s concerns and show compassion.
Watch for natural starting points. Did your mother mention a neighbor who fell while gardening? Ask her what she would do if she fell, and if it would be nice to have some help around the house.
Share how you feel. Let them know you care and would feel better if you knew they had some help.
Include your loved one. Reassure them that they are still in control—they just need help.
Emphasize independence. Assure your loved one that this is the best way for them to stay independent in their homes doing the things they enjoy.

Right at Home offers a free guide called the RightConversations Guide, that can help break down communication barriers as conflicts within the family and communication gaps with healthcare providers can lead to frustration and stress. If you want more information about how Right at Home of Virginia Beach can help, contact us for an in-home assessment.

Jamie Robinson, Owner of Right at Home Eastern Long Island, has proudly offered in-home care to seniors and adults with disabilities in the community for several years. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for those we serve. To learn more about our services, please call 631-509-1409 today!
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