As new generations of Americans age, more and more older adults want to age in place, and a key to safely and successfully staying at home while growing older is having the proper support. Professional in-home care can be a vital part of the team of people, making sure an older adult is getting all their needs met while continuing to live at home. However, obstacles make it difficult to bring on this valuable resource. Instead of letting them prevent a person from staying at home, let’s address them head-on.
1. Some seniors do not want assistance
Problem: It can be incredibly hard for an adult accustomed to their independence to admit that there are some things they can’t quite manage anymore. Their family sees the need and wants to make sure that their loved one has a professional in the home, but they have a challenging time convincing the older adult to accept the care.
Solution: Let the professionals help the older adult to come to terms with their limitations by having sensitive conversations in a neutral, helpful way in a home visit and assessment. The right home care agency will offer flexible, short-term options so that the older adult can try the assistance out.
2. The client is interested, but the family is resisting
Problem: Sometimes an older adult is ready for help, but their family is having trouble coming to terms with the aging process and needs. They are concerned about having a stranger in the house and wonder about responsibilities and costs.
Solution: The best way for a family to feel better about the presence of professional in-home care is through participation in an in-home assessment, meeting the team who will be working to help the older adult, and learning the details about the service.
3. Finding Family Leaders
Problem: When there are multiple children, friends, and other relatives who are concerned about the older adult, contact, coordination, bill payment, and separate guarantor are roles that need to be taken on by the group. It can be hard to find one or more people to take on these responsibilities that are essential to the relationship.
Solution: When the family understands that in-home care prolongs the older adults’ independence in the home, keeps them safe, and can evolve as the needs evolve, it can be easier to agree to partner with professionals to get the care in place. A family meeting to learn about the services offered and how the process will work should also be when important roles are designated for specific people.
4. Understanding the Costs and Finding the Means
Problem: Finances is often a topic and a reasonable concern when it comes time to hire professional in-home care. What resources will go towards covering the cost of the care? Can the client pay; will the family pay; or will they share the cost? Some families simply don’t think that the money is there.
Solution: The cost of professional care doesn’t have to be borne by the individual or the family alone. In Montgomery County, Maryland, resources are available in the form of respite care compensation through The Arc Montgomery County. There are additional public resources that your in-home care professional team can help you to locate. Call us to learn more about The Arc Montgomery County and other resources.
Problem: For the older adult and their families, the experience of aging in place may be completely new. They don’t understand what resources are available and essential to the care of the older adult. For that matter, they don’t necessarily know what the older adult’s needs, requests, and preferences might be without understanding what is available.
Solution: A thorough assessment and intake with a professional in-home care company will involve many questions being asked and answered on both sides. The professionals know what questions to ask, and they know how to identify areas and issues that need attention. Finally, the professionals can help determine the amount of care – too much or too little can hinder the recovery process.
6. Accepting the New Caregiver in the Home
Problem: Let’s face it; not everyone was meant to get along. Personality types, expectations, cultures, and styles can clash, making it hard for an older adult to accept the new caregiver in the home, and the first meeting can feel like a blind date on both sides.
Solution: A proper intake includes an assessment of the older adult, and questions should be asked about personal preferences (e.g., more passive, more assertive, chatty, quiet, etc.). The professionals coming into the home know that they are entering someone’s personal space and are mindful of the stress this may cause.
As necessary as it may be to aging at home, in-home care can be an intimidating new normal for everyone in the family. Working with qualified, experienced professionals who see care as a team effort can make this transition go much more smoothly and keep the older adult safe and comfortable in their own home. For over 20 years, SmithLife Homecare has been offering private-duty residential services to residents of Montgomery County, Maryland and Washington, DC. We can be your partner in aging.
Contact us today to learn more.