Overcoming Resistance to Home Care
Tuesday, 7 April 2020 is World Health day across the world. World Health Day’s message is simple: giving people access to healthcare without the prospect of financial hardship. In Australia, we are lucky to have Medicare a publicly funded universal healthcare system for all residents.
“Having discussions about what your loved one would want if they needed assistance with dressing, bathing, meals or if they needed more medical care can be helpful to know where to begin looking for care when the needs arise,” however, often parents and children avoid these conversations because they are uncomfortable.
As part of the Australian Government’s continuum of care for older people in Australia,
they fund the Home Care Packages program. The Home Care Packages Program provides older people who want to stay at home with access to a range of ongoing personal services, support services and clinical care that help them with their day-to-day activities.
Often, deciding to stay in their home, what to eat for lunch, or what to wear are the only decisions your loved one may make these days. Acknowledging your parents’ fears regarding the future and not being able to function independently lets them know you understand the difficulty they have accepting this stage of life.
Avoid saying “You need/have to…” or “You should…” as these phrases “take control away from your parent and will likely put your mom or dad on the defensive.” Most adults fear losing independence and control. Ask your parent, “What would it be like if you had help with ….” to elicit a response that is meaningful and might lead you both to a solution.
Rather than taking control, discuss their opinions and desires and then act. “If they want to stay in their home, discuss helping them evaluate whether this is feasible instead of shutting it down,”. With your parent present (if possible and feasible) talk to care providers or their GP to help determine the safety of the current living situation and for recommendations on future needs.
And be patient. “This is a marathon, not a sprint,”. “Don’t try to solve all of the problems in one conversation.”
Feel free to reach out to us at Home Care Assistance, SE Melbourne, for professional carer support or just a friendly chat.
Smrity Bagga OT, Associate fellow ACHSM