Companionship services are increasing throughout in Massachusetts. They can help families have freedom from being a caregiver for a few hours a day.

An aide does this rather than a nurse that provides skilled care and assistance. Companions help with activities of daily living, like toileting, dressing, meal preparation, housekeeping, and light laundry, but it can be difficult to convince a parent to accept companionship services.  So what do you do?

What You Will Learn

Caregivers are excellent at keeping your loved one entertained and stimulated through conversation, shared interests, and driving a loved on to their appointments on time, like the salon or grocery store.

Convincing a parent to accept companionship services will provide you peace of mind knowing they are safe will you are away.  Sometimes they can be resistant to receiving a caregiver.

Here you will learn eight techniques to convince your parent to accept help from a caregiver.

Ideas to Accept Companionship Services

Often senior parents do not realize they need a companion.  Neighbors and other family members can help with companion work, but as time goes on, they may not be available as they once used too.

Convincing a parent to accept companionship services can be difficult, so let jump into it!

1) Concede To Your Parents Perspective – Understanding and empathetically stating their objections can disarm a parent.  “I know you are not happy about people coming over and helping, but since the fall, things have changed.”

2) Explain Your Needs – Explaining to your parent that you have a family to take care of, a career to continue, and other activities reminds them that they cannot be the center of your attention.  Explaining to them ‘you wish you could be there all the time, but just can’t’ will remind them that they need help, but it can’t always come from you.

3) How It Helps Them – Accepting home care will provide you respite care, but explaining to your parent how it benefits them will convince them to give it a try.  Showing the benefits of a clean house, meals prepared for them, and fresh laundry and linens may entice them to accept help.

4) Explain It In A Different Light – Make it sound that they do not need the help, but want the luxury of help.  The choose to have a driver to take them places, and elect to have a housekeeper/maid to clean up and make them meals.  A companion is not something they need, but something they choose to have.

5) Mention To Them Who Else Is Getting Help – Once they know that they are not the only ones receiving assistance may convince them to try.  Pride is a factor for people, and knowing that other peers and friends are in need of aid may break down the wall of unwillingness.

6) Explain the Medical Consequences – Use a recent emergency room visit as an example of the consequences that will occur without a companion available.  Would they rather be in their home with a companion or injured in a hospital and a rehab facility or nursing home?

7) Offer Alternatives – Offering alternatives to home care can also provide them with making a choice rather than being forced.  If they are against home care, providing adult day care services or assisted living as alternatives might intrigue them.

8)  Start Small – Usually senior who are hesitant of having a caregiver come in is because they feel they are losing their independence (next topic), and they are scared of the unknown – a stranger.  Start with a few hours so your parent does not feel smothered with care.  Most of the time they grown fond of their caregiver and are open to more hours with them.

9) Independence – As mentioned before, many older adults feel using a caregiver is a step towards losing independence.  Explain to them that it is the opposite.  If someone can’t drive and can’t see their friends, that is losing independence.  Having someone to take them out gives them the ability to regain their autonomy.

10) Non-Negotiable – Getting older tends to feel like someone is regressing back to a child.  Making something non-negotiable can work for some families.  Being the “bad guy” is not fun, but might be a last resort.   “If you don’t accept companionship services, the only other option is a nursing home.”

Wrapping It Up

Making a decision on how to get a convince a senior to accept companionship services can be a difficult one.  Everyone has a different experience with this conversation.  Some go well other do not.

Let us know what you thought of our article on convincing seniors to accept companionship services.  Do you have other ideas or strategies to share?