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How to prepare for in-home care services

by Shannon Lee

Moving to in-home care can be a difficult change, especially for an elderly loved one who is determined to remain as independent as possible. Here are a few tips to ease the transition for everyone involved.

For senior adults who take pride in their independence, admitting they might need help around the house can be difficult. They might be resistant to the thought of someone in their home on a regular basis, even if that person has their best interests at heart. Preparing both the home and your loved one for in-home care is an important step toward a smooth transition.

The Benefits of In-Home Care

In-home care can provide seniors with the ability to stay as independent as possible, while providing the safety and security they need. They can maintain all the comforts of home while reaping the benefits of a part-time or full-time caregiver to assist them with day-to-day needs.

Discussions with Your Loved One

Talking about in-home care can be a tough subject. Approach the topic with patience and understanding, and keep these tips in mind along the way:

  • Emphasize the positive. Point out the many things they can still do on their own. Talk about their freedom to make choices, and assure them that they will still be in charge.
  • Talk about what a caregiver can do for them. Ask them what burdens they might want lifted. Do they worry about forgetting their medication? Would they like to have their meals prepared for them? Making decisions together can open the doors to change.
  • Talk to the doctor. Sometimes hearing the encouragement of a physician can help overcome resistance to an in-home caregiver. At the very least, the recommendation can open doors to further discussion.
  • Interview caregivers together. Make the decision with your loved one. If they know their opinion is valued, they might feel more in control, and be more accepting of in-home care.

Practical Steps to Prepare for In-Home Care

Preparing your elderly loved one for in-home care is the first step. Next, prepare the home. Consider these little "extras" that can make an enormous difference:

  • Install anti-scald devices in showers and faucets
  • Choose smoke detectors with strobe lights and vibrate features
  • Select carbon monoxide detectors with a high sensitivity rating
  • Install "grab bars" in the shower and bath
  • Consider motion sensors and other security features that alert to a lack of motion

Ease the In-Home Care Transition

By involving your loved one in every step of the decision for in-home care, you are showing them how much their opinion matters. By preparing their home, you are helping to ensure their safety. Both steps can help ease the in-home care transition for everyone.