As your parents grow older, it's only natural that normal day to day life will become more of a struggle for them. They'll no longer be able to manage their homes and routines as effectively as they once did, and they'll be more prone to accidents and forgetfulness. Naturally, you'll want to ensure that they receive the help and care that they need on a daily basis.
If you yourself are now a parent and running your own household while working in a full-time job, there it is unlikely that you can provide the care they need on your own no matter how much you want to.
A survey by The New York Times in 2012 found that up to 90% of elderly people preferred to remain in their homes rather than reside in a nursing home for the rest of their lives. This is understandable because opting for in-home care rather than a nursing home allows your parents the same freedom they have enjoyed their whole lives while receiving the tailored health care provided by a home health care provider.
The problem is: how do you convince them to let a complete stranger into their home to provide the necessary care? Here are some ideas to help you in this regard.
Introduce the Carer as a "Friend"
It's very likely that your parents may object to having someone they don't know in their home. They may also adamantly refuse any help or even the suggestion that they need it. Rather than argue with them, call them and explain to them that you'll be visiting with a "friend" later to help out a little bit. Whilst there, have the home health care aide interact with your parents as much as possible to build a rapport.
Help Them Build Trust
Beforehand, tell the aide about your parents' interests and hobbies. This way, they'll be able to start on common ground and build up trust by showing an interest in your parents' hobbies. If your father has a passion for collecting old records for example, have your chosen aide bring in some old records or do some research beforehand. That way, they will be able to instantly build a rapport with your father.
Be There with Them at First
If possible, try to be there with the aide for the first few days until your parents get used to them and accept them.
Explain to Them How This Also Benefits You
Naturally, your parents might be against the idea of a stranger coming into their home. However, if you remind them; gently, that you need this as much as they do, they may reconsider. After all, it wasn't so long ago that they were caring for you whilst juggling a job and housework.
Give Them Some Alone Time
Each day that you are there, make sure you give them some alone time so that they can get to know each other without you being there.
If in-home care is new to you too, make sure you seek out a reputable in-home care provider in your area to schedule a free consultation so you know exactly what is involved. Be patient too, with your parents and don't try to force this on them. Be gentle in your approach and understand that it isn't easy for two adults to suddenly accept that they now need constant in-home care. Eventually, they may grow to like having someone there to care for them.