Your Mom or Dad needs to have a caregiver for several reasons. Maybe you have to work and can’t be there all day. Or perhaps you need help with personal care and grooming, or the care needed is beyond your capabilities to provide. Whatever the reason, you need to hire a caregiver; a stranger even with the best references, and your parent isn’t having any of it. So, what do you do when your parent refuses to cooperate about having a caregiver help?
Reasons for the fear
First you need to understand the why. So, when your loved one is upset or angry about a “stranger” coming to provide care, it’s time to ask why. Many times it’s just plain fear. Sometimes a loved one may feel that the family doesn’t care anymore. Or feeling vulnerable is a factor, especially for people who have always been out-front and independent.
So, if your parent is still of sound mind, try talking about the situation. Explain how a home care companion or caregiver will help your loved one to live safely and at home. This in itself is a strong symbol of staying independent. If you choose the correct caregiver too, the caregiver will be able to notice this strong streak of independence and help in ways that will complement your loved one’s independence. Plus, this will allow your parent to stay in control as much as possible.
Now having a stranger come in to take care of your Mom or Dad is a very personal issue between the two of you. So one way to help your loved one accept the new caregiver is by having your parent play active role in the hiring, if possible. If your parent has input on who is coming into the home, then the apprehension and fear may be reduced.
If your parent has dementia
If your parent has a form of dementia, then your loved one may not be able to be involved in the hiring process. But even though your loved one may not understand what’s going on, introducing the caregiver is still an important step. So, you’ll need to see how your parent and the potential caregiver interact. Additionally, having a family member present for a few of the shifts may reassure your parent that there is no danger involved.
If for some reason though, even if the caregiver is doing the best that can be done, your parent may not get along with the new aide. Then you may have to request a different caregiver.
Even with everything you’ve done, your loved one still may not be happy with the new arrangement. At this point, you may have to explain that you’re still going to be there as much as possible, but that you need help. Talk to Mom or Dad about the caregiver being a professional who can assist the both of you in many different ways. Also, tell your parent that his or her wellbeing and happiness is important to you and that you’re closely monitoring everything which is going on daily.
Opening the home to a stranger can be a big challenge to some seniors. But if you understand why your loved one is being resistant, this will help to solve the problem.