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The Ezra Home Care Blog

Mom Needs Assistance to Live Safely, But Wants Her Independence - What Can I Do?

Oct 20, 2017 |

For many older people, there comes a time when it is no longer safe or possible for them to live alone in their own home. That doesn't mean, however, that they won't resist accepting these changes, especially when their adult children start to bring up the conversation about how to keep them safe.

You might be worried about hurting your mom's pride, or she may be fearful that her independence is under threat, but if you're worried for her safety at home, the conversation about what happens next is vital.

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An assisted living community is one option, but it is not the ideal solution for many families. Not only is it unlikely to be your mom's preference, but you might find that you and your siblings are not ready to make such a drastic change, either.

Your mom wants her independence

You may already know that Mom doesn't want to, or can’t, live with one of her adult children, or that one of them can’t go and live with her; in this scenario, Home Care is the next best option to having a family member at hand, and will mean your mom can continue to live at home for much longer.

Many families first seek out the support of a Home Care company after a crisis such as a bad fall, a serious medical event such as a stroke or heart attack, or the worsening of a condition such as Parkinson’s or, dementia, including Alzheimer’s. Whether that event is unforeseen, or has reached a crisis point, Home Care options can be put in place either gradually, so that your mom has time to get used to the idea, or immediately, as in times of emergency.

If your mom's cognitive abilities are in decline, it may not be possible for her to make a rational decision about her future; you may need to step in to take control of the situation. However, if her mental health is strong, and so is her will, it is possible that Mom will resist the idea of having someone come to help her out in her own home.

If you need to, as a means to open the conversation, get support from her doctor, friends or valued people in the community to make the suggestion to your mom on your behalf. It could be that such advice is easier to take from someone outside of your family, rather than hearing it directly from you.

If you are the person who needs to lead the discussion, let her know that it is not easy for you to visit her at home often enough to feel assured that she is safe. This conversation is not designed to place guilt on her, but it may help her to see it from your point of view if she hasn't been thinking this way up to now.

The Benefits of Home Care

Reassure your mom that Home Care is not designed to take away her independence, but instead is a solution that allows her to continue living at home and carry out her normal routine for as long as possible. The alternative could be a much more drastic decision, which would mean upheaval for your entire family.

It can be extremely hard to begin conversations like this, and you may feel elements of guilt or frustration as you think through how to begin the discussion with your mom. Always think “safety first”. If you're not sure when is the right time to intervene, ask yourself: “Do I feel confident that Mom is safe when I am not there?” If the answer is no, it’s time to help avoid a dangerous situation from occurring.

Home Care can be as minimal or as involved in your mom's life as you both choose, with a range of services. If your mom is able to, discuss the level of care she requires with her, so that she is in control of the situation. Reassure her that a home caregiver is not a nurse, and will not come to her home in a uniform if she is concerned (as we all can be) about how Home Care assistance will be perceived by her neighbors and friends.

Suggest meeting someone from a Home Care company and discussing the different options, including how the company makes a good caregiver match. You may both be surprised to see how, in the coming months, the relationship between the caregiver and your mom blossoms from caregiver to valued companion.

Your mom will be able to continue living an independent life and you will have the security of knowing she is safe and cared for, even when you're not there.

Find out how we can help provide the Home Care your parent needs by contacting our friendly and experienced caregiver team.

TAGS: Mobility Issues Elder Care

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Susan Z. Robins, Vice President, Sales and Marketing

About Susan Z. Robins, Vice President, Sales and Marketing

Susan brings to Ezra Home Care more than 25 years of experience helping organizations, inside and outside healthcare, increase brand awareness, market share and revenues. She is responsible for developing Ezra Home Care’s sales and marketing strategy which includes increasing referral partner relationships, improving community relations, and developing and implementing the company’s online marketing strategy.

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