Here are suggestions family caregivers have found helpful in making these transitions easier.
Listen and involve your loved one
Your loved one wants to have a say in what is happening with their care. Listen to their concerns and why they are fearful of accepting help. Maybe they feel that their choice is being taken away from them. Perhaps they feel they have become a burden. Whatever it may be, express that you understand their concerns and that their feelings are valid. Involve your loved one when choosing the in-home care company, adult day care program, or residential facility. Having a voice will help your family member feel more comfortable with the decision.
Take it Step-by-step
Next, take time to introduce the new assistance into your family member’s life. For example, begin by having an initial meeting with your loved one and an in-home care company. As your loved one builds a relationship with a caregiver, add hours and days throughout the week. A senior day center may be a better fit. Your family member can begin with two days per week to adjust to the new routine and structure.
Communicate your needs
Acknowledge your needs as a caregiver and express your thoughts to your loved one. Let them know that it helps ease your concerns when you know they are in good care. Confirm that you are still there to help and that you love them.
In most cases, your loved one is in a place where they have the right to help make decisions for themselves. Their final decision may not fall in line with what you consider to be the best choice for everyone involved, especially if they have dementia. Encourage them to give the new change a try for two weeks and then evaluate after that. Be respectful and supportive. This may be a difficult time for them and they need your love and support.