Building up to the conversation with your parents
How do I explain to my parents I’m thinking of getting them a carer? Before any mention of care, tell your parent you’d like to have a private conversation when they have the time. Doing this will set the tone and let them know that they need to be focused and listen to what you’re saying.
Finding the right time
Mentioning the idea of getting help from a carer can be a tricky conversation to have. So, broaching the topic somewhere that your parent is familiar with such as their home, helps them to not feel as unsettled. Avoid bringing it up in a social situation as it can be distressing and, especially if others can hear the conversation, they could feel unnecessary embarrassment. If you parent’s diagnosis is more severe, the chances are they’ll need time alone to process what you’re saying to them.
Take into consideration that what you’re saying is going to impact their life. The comfort and mind state of your parent is paramount.
Selling the idea of a live-in carer
A live-in carer will bring endless benefits to your parent and yourself. At first, they may of course struggle to see these benefits as they’re happy and settled in their daily life. To ease them into it, refer to poignant times they’ve injured themselves or forgotten to eat for days by saying “Neither you nor I would have to worry as a carer would look after all of that”.
Having a job, family and personal commitments are obstacles which can stop you from caring as often as you’d like. Highlight this to your parent by saying “If I’m at work and you have a bad fall, who knows how long it could take before I get to you. A carer would be there to help straight away or even prevent it from happening in the first place”.
Prepare for rejection. Your parent has become accustomed to you looking after them and your way of doing things, plus they already know and feel safe with you. Hiring a carer to take over your role can lead to your parent feeling abandoned and as though they’re a burden on you. Growing old is scary, and your parent may need your support during this time. When they voice their concerns or objections, listen to them, try to not talk above, and then once they’ve finished you can calmly counter back.
If you feel it appropriate, tell them how much you worry about them when you’re not there. There is a good chance that they already know this information but have never heard you say it to them before. Doing so can clear the haze and help them to realise how much they need a carer, not only for their own safety, but for your piece of mind too.
What to do if they are adamant on not receiving care?
End the conversation by saying you understand them, only wish for the best for them and reassure them that you love them dearly. You aren’t doing this to cause any upset or anger, but rather to look after them in the best way possible.
After some time, mention it again and if they’re still not budging, try seeking expert advice. Some doctors are happy to do home visits to assess the priority of your parent receiving care. Otherwise, social workers are a useful resource with years of experience and will act as an impartial mediator.
If, however, they have come around to the idea but don’t want to jump straight into full time care, Country Cousins have it covered. Our respite care and companion care services offer a kind-hearted, expert carer to ease them into the transition. On an agreed basis, the carer will slowly take over from you by visiting your parent a couple of times a week to provide basic care. Hopefully, making the process smoother for all involved whilst monitoring the happiness and comfort of your beloved parent.
At Country Cousins, we offer a four-step care assessment. Over a phone call, we will establish the care required and to what extent, and endeavour to learn more about the individual e.g., your favourite hobbies, interests, any pets you may have. The third and fourth steps involve establishing whether we are the right live in care agency to support you with your care needs and finally, being perfectly matched to one of our carers.
Fears over loss of independence
As aforementioned, your parent knows you and feel safe with you, and throughout your lives together you’ve always been there for one another. This means they probably don’t see you as a carer, as you’re doing what people always do for the ones they love.
If you aren’t living with the parent that you’re caring for, you return to your home at the end of the day. This helps them to maintain their independence because you’re just popping round to check on them and have a catch up whilst there.
The job of a carer is to put all their focus onto their client and their safety. Reassure your parent it might feel out of the ordinary at first, but no carer is ever there to diminish their independence. All Country Cousin carers support and encourage complete independence and will offer their expert care when it’s needed.