Shay Asked June 2009

My mom won't let help in her home, how can I get her to accept help from a caregiver?


Mom and dad live independently in their own home, but need daily help with cooking, cleaning, shopping, errands, etc. Does anyone have suggestions for getting them to accept help from a caregiver outside the family?

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SouthPecan Jul 2016
Army retired is not right. Elderly need to be forgiven for some of their bad behavior, because some of it can't be helped. Imagine if someone told you right now that you can't manage your household and your car keys are being taken a way from you. A lot of times it feels just that sudden and unjustified to an elderly person. If they don't see themselves as needing help yet, it is very hard to accept it. And very easy to get angry. They are not being belligerant to be big babies. They are just unable to accept that level of help. Maybe the caregiver is treating them as more frail or confused than they actually are. It takes more than a couple of visits for the caregiver to figure out the best way to help, and how to fit in without disrupting your parents' daily routines. There will be friction at first, and resistance. Even the nicest grandparents will have some level of adjusting to go through.
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TheHatedOne Dec 2015
Everyone is right here! ArmyRetired is right too!
I am in a difficult situation with both parents being "retarded"; my mom thinks like a 3 year old, uses manipulation galore & always has to have the last word...GreedSer is a nasty old geek who on top of being mean expects everyone else to support him financially (he has money) and in response to our requests for his financial collaboration he always responds that my brother took his money (his accusation varies anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000)...he has always been a miser & won´t give us POA & perfers that what he has ends up in the gov´t´s pockets instead of using it for his care.
We are 3 kids now, my Sanctified little sister passed 9 months ago and is now their only interest & saviour...I love my little sister, but they are completely crazy the parents. We are all fed-up of the abuse & high expectations they have; food is never good enough for them, we can´t speak English near them, everything around is bad...the only good thing about both of them is that my mother isn´t tight with her mney which is barely enough for her! PS: I sound like them!
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Labs4me Dec 2012
My opinion is if someone is trying to help you and you are not gracious or kind toward them, you do not deserve their help. The elderly should not be exempt from bad behavior because they are old. Adult children should not have to continuously advocate to please their parents. Elderly parents need to take some responsibility for their actions and be considerate toward those who only wants to help them.
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pamwilke65 Jun 2009
I work for a company that provides in home caregivers, and what we have found with most of our seniors is that they are more receptive if the caregivers are in uniform. All of our caregivers wear a company polo and a name badge. This seems to help especially when it comes to meals, medication reminders and bathing. They relate well to caregivers who are trained and therefore know what they are doing and don't hesitate when interacting with them, while at the same time being very compassionate and empathetic. It is such a hard transition for both the senior and their adult children and each case should be based on the individual needs of the senior involved. You have to remember regardless of their state of mind, they are your parent, and they will always view you as the child, regardless of your age, and therefore they believe they know what's best. Be patient and know that you are doing the right thing for their well being.
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Those are excellent guidelines.

The other thing is, you will need to advocate all the time for your parents. This is a gift. Your parents were advocates for your welfare. Anyone with health issues needs an advocate. No one can possibly take care of the many details and large issues that need tending to -- and so much of this comes, seemingly, all at once.

Try to empathize with your parents' position as much as possible. How much would you be able to deal with in their position? Remember, empathy is not guilt.

I do all the shopping and cooking for my mom now. I've tried for extra help and it was not easy. But we are in the financial "donut hole." I have no sibling help. But I do get by, as the song says, with the help of my friends. Professional caregivers are, for the most part, amazing. And often, people respond to the professional aspect of the caregiving. It's easier for some people to have a stranger deal with things like diapers, because then it's just business and not personal. For my mom, it's easier

Work with your parents. Try not to make it a family argument. Point out to them what good help in the house could be and how much of a positive improvement to their standard of living it would be. Be specific with your parents about what their needs are: what are the realities.

Treating your parents as adults and not just your parents (frustrating, stubborn authorities who continue to oppose your will) is ground zero. Believe me, it's so helpful to try to erase negative patterns of thinking and alert yourself to the idea that you and your parents are in a whole new phase.

How independent are they? Can they go with someone to the store? The fear of being left out of the loop of your own life is terrible. And it's a realistic fear.

After that, everyone ages differently. And it will be up to you to advocate for your parents' care. They definitely can not do that on their own.
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sooz Jun 2009
your parents may feel better about help if they knew that often 'volunteers' will assist in these areas without pay. volunteers just want to help and keep themselves busy in doing good deeds where needed. they may see it in a more accepting way. also, most towns have a program called 'meals on wheels'. you could check into that as well. they don't stay in the kitchen working and fixing. they deliver, then help senoirs get started with a nice hot meal monday thru friday and bring a sack lunch for later, then leave. it's a wonderful program that works with each persons likes, dislikes and any extra assistance needed. i would love to help out. and there are others like me, just waiting for your call. good luck, sooz
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lindam Jun 2009
I am a "caregiver outside the family" and the elders I assist were not happy about my arrival. It is not so much that your mom will ever accept this, as it is up to the caregiver to not take things personal, to take things very slowly, do not go in and take over. It is very important for the caregiver to understand that the elders are giving up a lot of independence and their privacy
It really took about a year for them to accept my being there to do basically what you describe your parents need. There are still times when there is a little resentment, but I feel it is more about them being so aware of their need for help. It is very hard for them to accept they can no longer do it all.
Be prepared for many complaints against the caregiver, and make sure you have an open line of communication with her so that you can investigate any complaints.
The paid caregiver has dual responsibility, we also have to answer to the family.
I, fortunately have a good relationship with the daughter, so things are addressed quickly and efficiently.
The caregiver needs to know the circumstances and hopefully they will just take their time and allow the elders to adjust. I hope this helps.
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