When it’s time to help someone who you think may need a helping hand
Step 1: Preparing yourself for the conversation
Having difficult conversations with a loved one may not always be easy, especially when you want to raise your concerns about their health, well-being or loss of independence. Here are some helpful tips for caregivers and family members to help prepare in advance of speaking about your concerns.
Start by asking yourself a few questions:
- Are you feeling feel sad or concerned for a loved one’s safety and well-being, who seems to not be managing the day-to-day activities with the ease they used to?
- Does your loved one seem sad, depressed or has decreased ability to care for themselves?
- Does your loved one become defensive when you ask or mention the changes that you have observed?
- Are you feeling overwhelmed by trying to take care of your loved one or family member, while trying to manage your own needs?
If you have answered yes to even one of these questions, it’s likely an indicator that home care maybe the right option to support your loved one to continue to navigate their activities of daily living with support in the comfort of their own home and familiar environments.
Annie’s Place helps families navigate these conversations through a free health assessment. We want to ensure that our services respond to the needs of the client and are flexible to adapt to their changing care needs.
Step 2: Exploring your concerns with your loved one
It’s important to acknowledge any concern your loved one may have. Find out if your loved one is experiencing any of these challenges:
- A persistent pattern of being forgetful, confused or lost
- Struggling with day-to-day activities
- Feeling frustrated, stressed or sad
- Avoiding people, social interactions or environments they used to be comfortable in
- Experiencing pain, discomfort, or mobility changes
- Navigating a change in health or requiring regular health treatment or care
- Losing interest in things or activities they used to enjoy
- Having difficulty dressing, eating, or bathing
- Having trouble cleaning or maintaining the household
- Struggling to make appointments, shop or run regular errands
Our experienced care team provides support in the comfort of our client’s own home and in the environments, they are familiar with. We help our clients navigate the changes as they come, adapt services to respond to changing care needs, and ensure that our client’s voice is listened to and informs care planning decisions. Annie’s Place walks alongside our clients to ensure they feel as supported as possible and can maintain their independence in the comfort of their own home.
Step 3: Engaging in the conversation
Take a strength-based approach when you bring up your concerns, rather than focusing solely on your fears or your observations of what has changed for the individual.
“Dad, I know how much you have always enjoyed playing billiards with your friends, but I notice that you aren’t going there as often anymore. Is this an activity that you would like to keep participating in? Would you like some support to get there to still enjoy your time there with friends?”
“Lucy, I know you have always maintained a clean home and well-managed household and with the injury, you may find it challenging to keep up with everything you want to do. Is this something that you would like help with, while you focus your energies on your recovery?”
“Mom, I want you to know that I want you to live as independently and comfortably as possible, but I am not able to care for you like I would like to because of the limited time that I have and as your care needs advance in a manner that you deserve. Do you think we could explore some alternative options together?”
Start with a positive, be curious, step into the other person’s shoes, and be present to listen to their needs before you offer a solution or your concern. And, when you are ready to work through the solution, let us know. Annie’s Place can offer accompaniment to activities and appointments, help with injury and illness recovery, and support our clients with their emotional, health, and social needs to maintain independence and agency with their activities of daily living.
Step 4: Regaining balance as a caregiver
Knowing that your loved one is cared for by professionals provides you with peace of mind as well as:
- Decreases the feelings of being overwhelmed or resentful because of the added demands of caregiving;
- Helps you turn your focus on the relationship with your loved one rather than being overwhelmed by keeping up with the health care and support demands that are required;
- Helps you to regain balance and space to focus on your own life’s priorities;
- Provides you time to practice self-care and regard your own health and well-being needs, and;
- Allows you to maintain your focus on the relationship with your loved rather than the increasing demands of the care for your loved one.
At Annie’s Place, we regard the family, the formal and informal networks in our client’s lives as part of the service constellation. We want you to know that we are caring for your loved one like they are an extension of your own care. Let us help lessen the load and help to support you, too. Get in touch with us today for more information.