There are often numerous questions seniors and/or their family members have about in-home care. One of the most pressing for those who have no direct experience with this type of support involves the idea of a ‘stranger’ coming into the house.
Given the choice, most people would readily admit they’d prefer a close family member or friend helping them as opposed to a complete stranger. The sense of familiarity is a powerful force in relationships.
However, as people have spread across the country, the nuclear family has dissolved for the most part and that has made it more difficult for aging seniors to lean on adult children, close friends, or even neighbors. In order to remain home, some of these aging seniors must get physical support. In some cases, they may require medical assistance from time to time.
Inviting what they see as a ‘total stranger’ into the house is an unsettling prospect. It’s difficult enough, according to some seniors, to admit they need help. Add to that the prospect of somebody they don’t know coming into the house to assist them and making a commitment for home care services can be difficult.
In the Peninsula Daily News blog, HELP LINE: There are steps to making in-home care work, written by Mark Harvey:
“Oh, sure, sometimes you can find somebody you know, have met or who comes highly recommended by a friend, or maybe a friend or family member leaps into the breach, but often, help equals stranger.
The first miracle was probably getting Mom or Dad or both or whomever to even accept the idea of help coming in, because you know what message that sends?
Right: You can’t do it alone.
Would you want to hear that? Neither would I.
And now I’m being told that I have to accept help in my home from a stranger?”
Breaking down the barriers that keep some seniors from committing to home care agencies and other support services can sometimes feel like a monumental task. What many of these elderly men and women come to realize, though, is these caregivers become confidants, friends, and even part of their extended family.
They are only strangers the first time they show up. The best caregivers are also the most compassionate, which is easily witnessed during those first moments when they arrive at the house.
It may not be easy to convince an aging senior to think about home care, but most people would prefer to live out the rest of their days at home and if they need help, it is still the best option, even better than leaning on family.