How to Start the Difficult Conversation of Home Care | Redeemer Health
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How to Start the Difficult Conversation of Home Care

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Let’s be honest, the most important talks tend to be the most challenging, especially with an aging loved one. You may tiptoe around the home care conversation because you don’t want to step on their independence. To start a helpful conversation, make sure your loved one feels involved in the process from start to finish.

The benefits of home care services are many. There’s help with everyday activities like preparing meals, bathing and housekeeping. Then there’s medically driven support, like disease management and palliative or hospice care. Your family can build a home care plan that meets your loved one’s specific needs.

“Finding the ‘right’ time to discuss care options for your elderly loved one can be challenging,” says Patricia O’Brien, Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer of Home Care and Hospice at Redeemer Health. “Exploring home care options is a journey that focuses on the physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs of your loved one.”

Here are five factors to consider when choosing the best home care option for your family:

Identify abnormal patterns in behavior. Keep a watchful eye for subtle changes in behavior. Ask yourself questions like:

  • Are they wearing the same clothes each visit? Or disheveled?
  • Is housekeeping falling behind? Dishes piling up? Lightbulbs not changed? Trash not taken out?
  • Are they eating well? Is the fridge empty or filled with outdated food? Has toast become the meal of choice?

All of these are reasons to consider home care support for safety, companionship and assistance in meeting basic needs. They also indicate medical evaluations could be needed for:

  • A change in mental status
  • Fatigue 
  • Joint pain
  • Balance issues
  • Fear of falling
  • Depression
  • Failing eyesight

Conduct research. Gather information about your available home care options. Then weigh your options to make the best decision for everyone involved. The sooner your family identifies the ideal option, the better for your aging loved one.

Listen. After you’ve found the best option for your family, listen for areas where your loved one needs extra support. Home care providers can tailor support to your unique situation. 

Provide love and support. Reflect on the reasons why you’re taking this important step. Ensuring your loved one’s wellbeing helps them understand you love them and want what’s best for them. Remind them added support at home won’t change your role as a family member. They’re not losing you.

Remind them home care doesn’t take away their independence. It’s important to acknowledge their fear of losing independence. Emphasize that home care services allow them to age in place and maintain their independence.

Start your home care conversation today. Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Finding home care options positions you to make the best decision for your whole family. Getting this support sooner rather than later can lead to a better quality of life for your loved one.

Our team can help you determine whether support at home is right for your family’s situation. Please call us at 215-698-3719 to discuss how we can help.

Redeemer Health provides caring support at home services in Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia, Bucks and Montgomery Counties, and partners with other organizations to provide home support in New Jersey.