When family caregiving follows you to work. Part 4 of 9

When family caregiving follows you to work. Part 4 of 9

A nine-part series for family caregivers and employers. When family caregiving roles conflict with work and career obligations.

Part 4 of 9: I have been answering questions that have come in via email to our GOING HOME, STAYING HOME questions and answer service.

Q: My parents will not admit that they are having issues, or genuinely do not feel that they have issues, so they refuse to accept hired help or even schedule doctor appointments. Any advice for convincing them to accept help before a crisis?

A: No other life event can be as devastating to an elderly person’s lifestyle, finances and security as needing eldercare. Research shows that 82% of older adults who “need help” in the home suffer from some type of dementia. It is quite possible that your parents suffer from dementia, so trying to convince them is an unrealistic and ineffective way to help them. Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life, and the symptoms include a decline in memory, judgment, reasoning and other thinking skills (Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia. Alzheimer’s is a disease. Dementia is not a disease. Dementia is not a normal part of aging). Some types of dementia are reversible. Dementia and depression are very alike in their early stages. Doctors have found that when they treat depression, many of the dementia symptoms reduce and or disappear for older adults who suffer from reversible dementia.

With virtual healthcare, it is a little easier to get medical care for those who dislike going to doctor’s appointments. Here are 3 steps to getting them help.

  1. Schedule a virtual doctor’s appointment.

  2. Be present during the appointment and tell the doctor your concerns and ask for a depression assessment.

  3. Ask the doctor for virtual and in-home counseling. Medicare and insurance pays for counseling related to social adjustment and life transitions.

Next time, we will discuss how to get care into the home through the doctor. Take care, be well, and call or email me if I can be of service to you.