Watching your parents gradually slowing down can be difficult and accepting the ageing process is hard for the best of us. Ideally most older people want to remain in the comfort of their own surroundings in their advancing years and be as independent as possible; they don’t always see their physical decline the same way as you do.
In a previous article we outlined approaches to raising the difficult subject of elderly care with your parents and here we wanted to explain specifically how Close to Hand Home Helpers can offer a gentle introduction to having support at home.
Help at home your way
Close to Hand was set up in response to a lack of support services for independent seniors after having established a bespoke live-in care service with my mum and sister. I could see that there was a need for ad hoc, flexible help that often didn’t involve professional care, but companionship and a little helping hand with small jobs around the house, shopping and going on errands etc. We would often receive calls from adult children not knowing where to look for early support for their elderly parents, before advanced live-in care was needed.
Older people don’t always want to admit to struggling with everyday tasks and pride often means they won’t speak to their children about it or their feelings of loneliness. We understood this dichotomy only too well, which is why we launched Close to Hand to help fill the gap; providing access to local people able to pop in and give a helping hand, offering support to older people with their dignity intact, whilst at the same time giving comfort to their concerned families who were unable to be there all the time.
How to introduce a Home Helper to your parents
What we have found is that connecting with a local Home Helper to call in for a one-off meeting, pre-arranged with you and your elderly parents can help address any resistance to the idea of homecare. It is proving to be a ‘soft’ introduction to care at home; in fact, it isn’t care at all but support and companionship.
Close to Hand isn’t an agency so there are no contracts or obligations; it’s an online platform to connect you with local verified Home Helpers, after you’ve made contact the arrangement is entirely between you. This model gives you choice and your loved one complete control and means that you can gradually build up the time and days a Home Helper is there to suit you parents’ growing needs. That way they can see the benefits for themselves without making any initial commitment.
Many of our Home Helpers that start out offering one-off support over a set period end up building strong relationships with those they help and then naturally are called on more and more for their services.
Some people choose to have more than one Home Helper, each providing a different type of service or covering a number of days between them – again the control is in your hands. As with any relationship, finding the right Home Helper for your parents is all about personal preference and having a good rapport.
Search profiles and meet face-to-face
Finding Home Helpers near your parents is as simple as putting their hometown into the search field on the homepage. To make contact with an individual or to post a job, you’ll first need to register, which takes about the same time as it does for the kettle to boil and the tea to brew.
Once you’ve made contact via our secure online messaging service and started a conversation we suggest that you meet in person or speak over the phone before introducing them to your parents. All of our Premium Members have undergone an ID verification and background check.
Establishing any shared interests between them and your parents is a really good ice-breaker and ensures that when the introduction takes place they already have something in common; perhaps your mum or dad really love to talk about their days travelling or a passion for cookery and gardening.
Peace of mind
Calling in a Home Helper for an ageing relative can offer peace of mind for the whole family and can ease the transition from being completely self sufficient to accepting a level of help. There’s also the not too insignificant benefit of watching a new friendship develop.