At Support For Home, our ideal situation is when the client and his or her family are “on the same page” about homecare and the significant issues being faced as the senior(s) strive to continue to live safely and securely at home. Sometimes, though, those folks are on very different pages, in spite of deeply caring for each other.
Occasionally, the daughters or sons are very reluctant to have the serious dialogue necessary with their parents on the topic of aging in place / senior care. The “children” may have played that role for so long that it is tough to initiate that adult-to-adult conversation.
Equally likely is that the parent(s) may resist having the conversation, because they feel it diminishes their status as parents and independent, self-sufficient adults. In reality, of course, the conversation does not diminish the parent(s) in any way, but it can “feel” very uncomfortable.
In either case, whether the reluctance comes from the children or the parents, we are often able to play a “facilitator” role in that critical dialogue. We do not have the emotional history of the family members. We approach the need for care as professionals — in our case, led by our Gerontologist Manager of Client Services — with experience in gerontology and a passion for helping folks live at home, even if they need help with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs).
For on-going communication between clients and family members at a distance (e.g., “Mom lives here, but I live in New Jersey”), our Home Care Aides often serve as an important information link, either directly or through the administrative team in the Support For Home office.
The bottom line is, communication between the client, the family and Support For Home (or any very good home care agency) is absolutely critical to successful senior care. It’s not good enough to just focus on the ADLs and IADLs and think everything else will take care of itself. We know that, which is why, in our philosophy, client care is family care.
Best wishes, Bert