Struggling to speak to your parent about veteran in-home care? We are here to help.
As your parents age, you can’t help but think of their future.
There comes a time when they can’t take care of themselves alone, and often, you can’t give them the help they need.
If your parent was a veteran, or their spouse was, you can help them get veteran in-home care.
But we know it’s not always easy. Your parents need to want the care. And not everyone is open to the idea of having third-party care at home.
It’s a hard conversation, but thankfully, we’ve developed a guide that helps you talk to your parent about in-home care.
Decision Stages for Veteran In-home Care
As you lead your parent into a decision, it’s important to know what that journey looks like. There are four stages you will go through.
Your parent will need to realize that there is a problem— they can’t be alone if they want a safe and healthy life. Having safe conversations about their struggles will help them realize the situation.
If your parent is already aware, you are one step ahead.
Once your parent knows their health is preventing them from living a comfortable life at home, they weigh the situation and options.
This is your chance to offer veteran in-home care as a great solution to solve their health concerns while still retaining the lifestyle and home they know so well.
As the process progresses, your parent will begin to accept the idea of veteran in-home care. Now they begin to imagine what that may look like— as it’s becoming closer to reality.
Your parent has decided to try veteran in-home care (or not).
Listen to Them Before You Say Anything
Often, when a parent has trouble considering veteran in-home care, it’s because of a fear of change. They are afraid their life will look drastically different — for the worst. This is normal because they face a sense of uncertainty.
But we know that veteran in-home care is one of the best ways to offer the support and comfort needed to live a good life as you age. The biggest challenge is changing a negative perception.
You can only produce a productive conversation with your veteran parent by listening to them first.
Ask questions that can prompt safe conversations:
- How do you feel lately?
- Do you think you need help with ____?
- What would be the best option if you couldn’t do ___ anymore?
- Would you feel more comfortable with someone helping you out at home?
Asking broad, open-ended questions will help you understand what your parent feels and their biggest hesitations.
Take note of these concerns, and don’t try to tackle them when they first come up.
Your priority is to let them know that you are listening and that what they say matters. When you do, it proves that you care for their well-being and concerns. You become their biggest advocate.
Think about their hesitations. Then, find solutions or different perspectives that will help your parent understand that in-home care is a better option than what they have now.
But don’t share these things immediately. Plant seeds. Insert positive things within your conversation. You can do this by focusing on the benefits of veteran in-home care.
Benefits Instead of Health Issues
Nobody likes hearing bad things.
Think of tax filing season— the more you do, the more headache you have. But if you think of how great you’ll feel after and how you can enjoy a nice lunch at the beach or park to reward yourself, you have motivation.
Thankfully, in-home care is a good thing. What’s worse is the daily struggles your parent has to go through.
Naming those struggles will only frustrate and stress your parent. Instead, describe the better life they can have.
A great example highlights how instead of a nursing home, they can enjoy their own house or apartment with veteran in-home care. Or that they don’t have to worry about using the bathroom alone anymore and can have peace throughout their day knowing someone is ready to help.
There are also financial benefits.
If they are eligible for veteran aid, they don’t have to worry about a hefty fee to live more comfortably. “It can help support you”, you can say, “so why not try it?”.
There are many benefits you can focus on that will put them at ease and even excite them.
See It from Their Perspective
We’ve emphasized the importance of listening but listening to what they are not saying is just as significant.
For example, if they don’t like that a “stranger” might take care of them, they might not be saying that they don’t want to meet someone new or don’t trust them. Maybe they feel embarrassed having someone care for them during sensitive times.
These are real human concerns.
In this case, you can explain that they aren’t strangers and that they will get to know their caregivers.
They are professional and have cared for many people; their experience makes them more qualified than anyone to provide compassionate and respectful care.
When you step into their shoes, you practice empathy.
Remember, in a few decades, you might be in the same position. How would you feel? How would you want your child to have the conversation? Practice patience and grace as you help them walk through it.
You are a guide.
They are the main character going through a journey for their next stage in life. You can’t force them to decide, but you can guide them.
Invite Them to Be a Part of the Process
Read any leadership book in any industry, and you’ll find a common thread. The best leaders successfully invite their followers to the drawing-room – they develop a plan together.
When people feel a sense of ownership about a decision, they are more likely to champion it and accept it. There’s a difference between telling someone to do something and that person believing in it.
As you help your parent decide what to do with their next stage in life, you act as a family leader. You know what’s best for your parent, and you are helping them make that decision.
Invite them into the process to increase trust and acceptance of the idea.
You can ask them questions like:
- If you decided to have in-home care, what would you want it to look like?
- I’ve picked out a few services; which organization interests you the most?
- What boundaries would you want if a caregiver were to come here?
- Would you like to meet some of these caregivers or organizations? You can tell me which one feels most comfortable for you.
Ask Someone You Trust to Talk to Them
Everyone’s family dynamics are different. Some parents might be open to hearing what their children have to say; others might be more difficult.
Following these steps should make the conversation easier, but if you still feel like you aren’t making progress, look externally.
Who does your parent trust?
It could be a friend or family member that has a close connection. Or a friend receiving in-home care can give your parent a positive testimony.
Sometimes, a parent might trust someone in a professional capacity more. Perhaps, they have a physician that they respect. You could talk to the physician and see if they could help walk through the idea of in-home care with your parent.
The key is to find people they trust to continue the conversation for you.
You don’t want it to feel like an intervention because that will put them in a defensive state. But if you continue the idea of being the guide, they will instead see that they have a strong community that cares for them and is looking out for their best interest.
The Veteran In-home Care Solution
When it’s time to find a solution for veteran in-home care, review the requirements for Aid and Attendance, which can fund a portion of the expenses needed to care for your parent.
Aid and Attendance is a veteran program designed to help aging or disabled veterans (and their eligible surviving spouses) who struggle with regular activities of daily living.
Veterans can expect up to $3,536 for monthly funds (updated annually).
Many veteran families fail to get what they are entitled to or go through a lengthy process to hear an answer.
But with United Veterans Assistance, we can help you get it done quickly, seamlessly, and right the first time with our VA-accredited attorney.
Contact Us for an expedited application process.
*United Veterans Assistance is a private company and is not affiliated with, or recognized by the Veterans Administration or any government organization. Only the VA can determine who is eligible for Veterans Pension.