Home Instead Senior Care
I am really worried about my parents. With winter approaching, their health always declines and they live in such a cold house which they refuse to turn on heaters as “It costs too much”. How do I open a conversation around this?
Conversations with children and their parents, around their parent’s lives, are always very difficult. The roles have changed somewhat. There are all the feelings associated with losing control over your independence, being treated as a child, and essentially ‘role reversal’. Generally speaking very hard on both parties and a delicate line is needed to ensure parents do not feel undermined.
Home Instead has a fabulous book called “40-70” which talks all about how to experience better outcomes for all parties when having difficult conversations.
There is some great research on the internet about the importance of having correct temperatures in the home and that heating a home really is less expensive than many doctor’s appointments.
The possibility of ending up in hospital due to frailty or ill health bought about by living conditions is possible. You could try this approach.
Perhaps, together with your parents, you decide the rooms that could be heated, the times the heater would be needed to be on, and make sure they get some exercise to keep up their warmth and circulation.
Also fundamentally important are good hearty winter meals such as thick vege soups and stockpots – meals full of nutrients that can last more than one day. And should preparing such meals now fall back to you, you could consider one of Home Instead’s trained caregivers, so that you are able to focus on doing other things with your parents.
In addition, your parents may be eligible for home insulation assistance. To find out more about this you can phone EECA on 0800 358676 or visit their website.
Debra Jager is Managing Director of Home Instead, which specialises in caring for your loved ones. Phone 571 4228 or visit our website www.homeinstead.co.nz for more information.