How to Prepare At-Home Care For a Loved One Who Says 'No'


Posted on: 30 April 2018 by Ethan William

There comes a time for every caregiver when in-home assistance feels like the best option. Although this kind of help is often necessary for primary caregivers, in that it gives them a break or allows them to return to work, loved ones can be hesitant to accept the change. The introduction of a new caregiver into your loved one’s life may serve as a reminder of his or her lost independence, so a strong emotional reaction is not unusual.

Technology is making care easier, but caregivers still need a helping hand to relieve some of the pressure. So how do you introduce at-home assistance to a loved one who says no? The adjustment phase may be tricky, but there are ways to ease the transition. Here are five steps to help you prepare.

Do Your Research

Before you introduce the new caregiver, it’s important to do your research. Don’t approach your loved one with the idea until you know who is going to be coming into their home and how often. The more information you can gather about the process, the more secure both of you will feel. Websites like offer guidance and advice on what to expect from at-home caregivers, including screening processes, services provided and payment and insurance options.

Listen to Your Loved One

Talk to your loved one about their care options frankly and honestly, and listen to their concerns. Although in-home care might be the only option, the person receiving the care still has a right to air their feelings about the change and express their worries. Write down questions they ask or fears they’ve shared so you can address them. Making your loved one feel secure and heard by you is a vital step in this transitional phase.

Introduce the Change Gradually

Introduce the new caregiver gradually, starting with just once or twice a week. Try to stick around for the first few sessions, so your loved one feels supported, and beware of encroaching on their dignity or independence. Explain that you are the one who needs help, not them. Make it clear that the new caregiver is not replacing you and that you are coming back.

Be Selective With Details

Depending on the condition of your loved one’s memory, you might want to be selective about what you tell them. It may feel counterintuitive to lie to a spouse or loved one, but if the details are going to upset them unnecessarily, it’s often better this way. If your loved one is particularly resistant to outside help, you could say that the caregiver is a new friend who has come to help you out, or that the new arrangement is only temporary. However, if you think that hiding the truth will only confuse your loved one more, it’s better to be open about what’s going on.

Let Go of Guilt

Having some space for yourself will make you a better caregiver overall and ease the strain of your responsibilities. You won’t have to worry about your loved one when you’re away from home, and you know they are getting the care they need and deserve. Whether you decide that at-home care is the solution or a nursing home is the only option, try to let go of the guilt and trust that you know best about what both you and your loved one needs most.

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