We often hear from people who are worried about their frail, elderly parents, or other relatives, coping in their own homes without any form of home healthcare support… It is quite common for the elderly to be reluctant to accept assistance, even when they really do need it because they want to continue to live independently in the community.
However, we usually find that once the ‘outside’ support has been accepted and underway for a few weeks, most stop seeing it as an intrusion and are grateful for the help. The tricky part is getting their initial agreement to try it.
When broaching the topic of assistance, one of the key points is to base the discussion on the positives, focusing on what they can do and what they enjoy doing – acknowledging that they wish to stay independent in their own home, and this is where you are coming from too.
Together you could identify the tasks that are difficult, time-consuming or energy draining. Getting help for these tasks means they can spend more time and energy on what they enjoy or would like to get involved in and never seem to have the time.
To ‘break the ice’ you could suggest a visit from Access’s community nurse who would provide reassurance that support workers are highly trained, police vetted and supported by a registered nurse who is only a phone call away in case there is a decline in their health. Having a friend or a neighbour also attend could be beneficial for them.
There are two options for getting support worker assistance. A GP can make a referral to a Needs Assessment Service Co-ordinator (NASC) who would assess whether home healthcare support can be funded by the local DHB. Alternatively, anyone can choose to pay for any of the services Access provides, or as a ‘top-up’ to any government funded assistance.