Helping Seniors Adjust to In-Home Care

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Coping with the death of a family member

Allow Yourself to Grieve

One of the most important things you can do when faced with the death of a loved one is to allow yourself to grieve. You may experience shock, anger, sadness, and can even feel lost or helpless. This is normal, but it is necessary to express these feelings because keeping them in will only lessen your ability to cope.

Talk to your family and friends about what you are feeling. It is likely that they are feeling the same emotions as you and talking about it will help you cope and find closure. Talking about your loved one after their death is also a great way to honor their memory and help you appreciate the moments you had with them. There are other ways to honor them as well, including donating to their favorite charities, planting a tree in their memory, or spending time with family to share stories and reminisce with photos of fun times. These kinds of activities, while they may seem difficult, will help you find closure and acceptance.

When you experience the death of a family member, you will be filled with many emotions and may also be required to do things like make funeral arrangements or work with their estate planners to carry out their final will. During this time, it is imperative that you take care of yourself and not neglect your needs – eat well, get plenty of rest, and try to continue doing the things that bring you joy. Whether this is exercise or spending time with friends, this will help you cope and keep a level head while dealing with other responsibilities.

MEDIA INQUIRIES

The decision to seek in-home care is a big one, and many seniors understandably struggle with this decision. Many view this transition as an unwelcome loss of independence and will resist accepting help, even when they need it. 

If you have a loved one who could benefit from in-home assistance, there are ways to approach this important conversation with tact and consideration that will help pave the way for a good outcome.

Take things one step at a time

It's often easier to approach in-home care in stages. Start by having a caregiver come for just a few hours each week. This gives your loved one and the caregiver an opportunity to get acquainted and to establish a routine. This also gives your loved one some time to adjust incrementally to receiving help with daily tasks.

Respect your loved one's feelings

Although it can be frustrating for you to see your loved one struggle to care for themselves, it's important that you try to understand and empathize with their position. In-home care can provoke a lot of fears and anxieties. To some, it’s not a welcome source of support—it’s a threat to their sense of self and their personal autonomy. 

In a situation like this, growing impatient or forceful doesn’t help. Showing that you care about your loved one’s concerns can go a long way in moving the situation toward a positive outcome.

Shift the perspective on in-home care

How you frame the situation matters a lot. When discussing the option of in-home care, be sure to include how a caregiver will ease the burden on everyone, including yourself, so that your loved one is less likely to feel as though they are the only one who needs help. Positioning the caregiver as an all-around “assistant” to the family can make it much easier for everyone to get on board with the decision.

Focus on the housekeeping a caregiver provides

In the same vein, emphasize the practical aspects of a care provider. In addition to health and medical support, many caregivers also help with daily tasks such as cleaning, grocery shopping, and running errands. Many seniors find it easier to accept help in these areas.

Enlist your doctor’s support

It’s one thing for a family member to make a recommendation, and it’s quite another for a doctor to do so. If your loved one isn’t receptive to the idea of in-home care, remind them that it comes at the request and endorsement of a doctor and it’s ultimately in the best interest of their health and well-being.

Key Takeaways

Accepting in-home care presents a big change for many seniors. Approaching the issue in a considered and thoughtful way can make all the difference in easing this transition. With time, your loved one may come to be relieved and grateful for the help. 

At Westlake Village, we can help you navigate these discussions. Contact us today to explore your options.

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Westlake Village Hospice, Inc provides home hospice care for patients in Los Angeles, Arleta, Calabasas, Canoga Park, Burbank, Chatsworth, Encino, Glendale, Glenoaks, Granada HIlls, Hansen Hills, Hidden Hills, La Crescenta, Lake Balboa, Lake View Terrace, MIssion Hills, North Hills, North Hollywood, Northridge, Pacoima, Panorama City, Porter Ranch, Reseda, San Fernando, Shadow Hills, Sherman Oaks, Sun Valley, Sunland, Studio City, Sylmar, Tarzana, Toluca Lake, Toluca Terrace, Tujunga, Valley Glen, Valley Village, Van Nuys, Vergudo, West Hills, West Toluca Lake, Winnetka, Woodland Hills, Ventura County, Antelope Valley, and the San Fernando Valley.
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