I’m worried my loved one is not safe at home. What should I do?
Perhaps you’ve noticed that your loved one’s home has become much messier than it used to be, or that he or she is wearing stained, dirty clothes. Maybe it’s clear that your loved one hasn’t had a bath for a while. Or when you open the refrigerator, there is hardly any food inside. Or you may be worried sick about a recent fall or seeing a pan burning on the stove.
It can be frightening and painful to see a loved one who is losing the ability to care for him or herself. Sometimes, declines can happen gradually. Or a sudden change in health, recent fall, depression, or loss of a key local support can trigger difficulty. Regardless of the reason, if you’re worried about safety or the condition of the home, it’s important to bring it up with your loved one to see what can be done.
Tips on Talking to Your Loved One
Try to find the real reasons behind resistance. A seemingly resistant loved one could be frightened that he or she is no longer able to do tasks that were formerly so easy, or chronic untreated pain may be making it difficult. It might be more comfortable to deny it and minimize problems. Perhaps he or she is grieving the loss of a loved one, or frustrated at not being able to connect with friends. If your loved one has a hard time getting out and is losing support, he or she is also at risk for depression.
Express your concerns as your own, without accusing. A loved one might be more open to your honest expressions of concern. For example, instead of saying, “It’s clear you can’t take care of yourself anymore. Something needs to be done,” try, “I’ve really been worried about you. It hurts me to think that you might not be getting everything you need. What do you think we should do?”
Respect your loved one’s autonomy and involve him or her in decisions. Unless your loved one is incapacitated, the final decision about care is up to him or her. You can help by offering suggestions and ideas. For example, what home care services might bridge the gap? If you’re worried that home care might not be enough, what other options are available? You can frame it as something to try temporarily instead of trying to impose a permanent solution.
Enlist other help. Does your loved one know others who have used home care services or have had to move? Talking to others who have had positive experiences can sometimes help remove fear of the unknown. You may want to consider having a meeting with your loved one’s doctor or hire a geriatric care manager. Sometimes hearing feedback from an unbiased third party can help a loved one realize that things need to change.
If you are looking for experienced and compassionate professionals who are local and genuinely interested in attending to the needs of the the elderly, FirstLight Home Care is here to help. Perhaps a visit from one of these third party individuals would be a way to start a relationship which could lead to peace of mind for all involved. It may be that only a few hours each week is all your loved one requires to assure they are safe and happy. An initial home visit from a trained FirstLight caregiver will prove to be very beneficial as they will be able to assess the situation and give recommendations. Give them a call. You’ll find them to be very warm and caring and ready to serve.
*article cited from this website