It’s no secret that as we age, we have less energy and need extra help here and there. But when you live with Dementia, the level of care needed can quickly increase. This is especially the case in later stages of a diagnosis. It’s important to have practical care support for Dementia,
Dementia is ever prevalent in the UK. Around one million people live with Dementia. With two-thirds of elderly people still living at home, it falls to many family members to take on the role of primary caregiver. An estimated 40 million UK citizens will take on some role of caregiving in their lifetime. However, without any prior experience it can quickly become overwhelming and many start seeking external support from a professional.
We at Country Cousins are leading providers of live-in care. Here we share our top tips on how to respectfully and carefully tell your parents that they need help from a professional carer.
Finding the right time to discuss support for Dementia
Before any mention of care, set the tone by mentioning to them that you’d like to have a quiet talk. Make sure it is in a familiar and safe setting. Talking about this topic in a public or social situation may lead to unnecessary embarrassment. If your parent is in the later stages of Dementia, they might need more time to process what you’re saying to them.
Selling the idea of a live-in carer
A live-in carer can bring endless benefits to your parent and yourself. To ease loved ones into the idea, you may need to refer to times they’ve injured themselves or forgotten to eat for days, Saying something like “A carer would look after all of that for you, you nor or I would ever have to worry”.
It may be helpful to gently remind them if they were to have a fall and you’re at work, it could take a while before you get to them. A carer would be there to help straight away or even help to prevent it from happening in the first place.
Facing rejection when having a conversation about support for Dementia
Your parent may be fiercely independent or they may be accustomed to you, as a family member looking after them. Your way of doing things, not to mention that they already know you and are likely to trust you. Hiring somebody new to take over can lead to them feeling abandoned and feeling like they’re a burden.
If they voice concerns or objections regarding a live-in carer the most important thing is to listen. Where possible take a deep breath, step back do your best not to talk or shout above, them. Once they finish you can calmly and rationally give your perspective.
If you feel it’s appropriate, tell them how much you worry about them when you’re not there. There is a good chance that they already know this information but have never heard you say it to them before. Voicing this can clear the haze and help them to realise they need constant support. A carer, not only for their own safety, but for your peace of mind too.
What to do if they are adamant and don’t want support for Dementia
Finish the conversation by saying you understand them. You only wish the best for them and reassure them that you love them dearly. You aren’t doing this to cause upset or anger, but rather to look after them in the best way possible. You may also like to read this article on promoting your loved one’s independence.
It may be a case of revisiting the conversation. Mention the subject again after some time has passed. If they are still adamant they are fine as they are, you can seek expert advice from a social worker or Age UK. They can be an experienced and impartial resource. It may also be worth checking-in with their GP. In certain circumstances home visits may be arranged to assess the priority of your parent receiving care.
Perhaps they have come around to the idea of support, but don’t want to jump straight into full time live-in care. Country Cousins Respite Care and Companion Care services are an option. On an agreed basis, one of our kind-hearted carers will slowly take over from you by visiting your parent a couple of times a week and provide basic care.
Family members vs a Professional Carer
As aforementioned, your parent knows you, and throughout your lives together you’ve probably helped one another. This means they probably don’t see you as a carer. You are doing what people do for the ones they love.
The job of a carer is to put all their focus onto their client and their safety. Reassure your parent it might feel out of the ordinary at first, but no carer is ever there to diminish their independence. All Country Cousin carers support and encourage complete independence and will offer their expert care when it’s needed.
Seeking external help through a carer isn’t something to be ashamed of, but rather something to be embraced and encouraged if the help is needed.
This is affiliate content from Country Cousins.