There are certain challenges we all face as we grow older, some of which are manageable and others that are not. If you have an elderly relative who is struggling with such challenges, you may want to consider outside help via a carer.
For many ageing people, clinging onto their independence is key – and this can make the process of hiring a carer difficult. To make the process easier, there are certain steps you can take.
Talk about care early
Discussing future caregiving before a health crisis occurs will give both yourself and your relative a good idea of what lies ahead. Ask questions like “where do you see yourself getting older?” or “how would you feel about hiring someone to come in and clean or go to the shops for you?”.
Ensure you are asking open questions and allow your loved one sufficient time to answer. The conversations you have may become repetitive, but persevere and eventually you will reach an arrangement that will suit them and offer a sense of control.
Find out why they are resistant
If your relative is resistant to the notion of care, try to empathise and find out the underlying concerns – is it to do with the lack of independence? The cost? Or maybe having a stranger in the house? Be empathetic and validate rather than dismiss your loved one’s feelings.
Offer some options
Rather than simply dictating the conditions of care, be sure to keep your relative involved. Offer them some options and allow them to be part of the process.
Stop yourself from feeling overwhelmed by prioritising key issues you are concerned about. Once you have these listed, attend to the most pressing concern first.
Interview until it feels right
Finding a carer will involve checking out their credentials (ask them to submit a background or Disclosure and Barring checks) and interview until you find someone who feels right. Have them meet your relative and only hire someone your relative is comfortable with.