July 22, 2021
No one wants to start a conversation that is bound to be embarrassing for everyone involved and may make your senior parent defensive or on edge. But there are some times when that conversation becomes necessary. When it’s time for your parent to stop driving or when it’s time that your parent needs help from home care services, and when your parent starts to struggle with personal care.
You might miss the early signs that your parent is starting to have difficulty with personal hair. Their hair might go unbrushed for a few days, or you might notice that they are wearing the same clothes for a couple of days in a row. But then you might notice that they aren’t showering regularly anyway, or that they aren’t brushing their teeth. Men might not be shaving the way they used to, and women might not wear makeup or style their hair.
If you wait for your parent to bring up the topic and tell you that they need help you will probably be waiting a long time. It’s easy to understand why a parent would have trouble starting a conversation with their child about needing help from an elder care provider to do basic things like shower or comb their hair. But still, the conversation needs to happen. Use these tips to start the conversation and approach this sensitive topic with empathy and kindness:
If your senior parents are people that you can talk openly with the best way to talk to them about personal care is just to gently say that you’ve noticed that they haven’t been looking their best lately and ask them directly if they are having a hard time using a razor or a curling iron or getting in and out of the shower. By opening up a dialog you are giving them the chance to tell you what they are having trouble.
Telling your senior loved one that they smell or that they look bad isn’t a good way to handle the situation. Make sure that the language you choose doesn’t blame them for their struggle. You can suggest getting help from an elder care provider who can come in daily or every other day to help them shower and change and take care of personal care tasks. Or, point out that that there are lots of adaptive devices you’d be happy to get for them that can make personal care tasks easier for them.
Above all don’t introduce any negativity, shame, or blame into the conversation. Your parent might not be ready to accept help right now. Don’t bully them or get frustrated. A better way to keep the dialog open is to tell your senior parent that you would like to continue the home care services conservation at another time and give them time to think about it.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care Services in Squirrel Hill, PA, please contact the caring staff at In-Home Quality Care today. Serving the Greater Pittsburgh Area since 1990! Call 412-421-5202