You might know that adult day care is the best option for your loved one, but they could have a different view on things. Convincing your loved one to attend adult day care can be a difficult task, especially if you don’t see eye-to-eye on the topic. There are many different ways to get your senior on board for adult day care, but it might take some time. Here’s a list of tips to help get the conversation and transition started without prompting feelings of dependence.
6 Tips for Talking About Adult Day Care
1. Don’t refer to it as “day care”
The term “day care” is usually referring to a program for children, so it might not be the best way to describe the facility. By saying “day care,” your loved one might think they are being treated like a child. Instead, you can use the terms “group,” “club,” “class,” or anything else that doesn’t make them feel belittled.
You can also choose to put more emphasis on the different activities offered such as art or music, instead of the actual “I need help caring for you” approach to day care. Getting your senior to attend adult day care might be simpler if there are programs or activities offered that they enjoy.
2. Be honest
While you can focus on activities offered that your loved one would enjoy, you should also explain why you think it would be a good idea and be honest. If attending a club would be beneficial for both of you, explain why. Don’t be afraid to say you need a break once in a while, but that you’re trying to make it as enjoyable as possible for him/her. You could be at risk for burnout if you don’t get a break once in a while, which could hurt both you and your loved one. Hopefully, they will be understanding to your needs and maybe even want to help you out.
3. Allow your loved one to assist in the process
Once you’ve gotten past the initial conversation and are on the same page, ask your senior to help in choosing the right adult day care. They might feel like they don’t have much control over their life anymore, but this could help maintain some power and independence. Check out our adult day care checklist with your loved one so that they are included in every step of the process.
4. Ask a professional
If your senior is still reluctant to attend adult day care, you can consider asking a professional for help. If a doctor or other professional encourages their attendance, they might be more willing. Seniors can be stubborn when taking advice or suggestions from family members, so involving a third party can be very beneficial. The professional can also cite other instances where seniors were reluctant but ended up really enjoying the programs.
5. Start Small
If it’s the first day or even first week, don’t have your loved one stay too long. It’s important to ease them into the transition because it’s new. Beginning to attend adult day care can be overwhelming, as they are in a new place with new people and a schedule they are not accustomed to. Also, let them have a say in adding days or hours. If they’re having positive experiences, encourage their attendance and ask if they’d like to go more. But if it’s not going so well at first, give it some time for them to feel more comfortable.
6. Use your judgment
There are definitely going to be complaints when your loved one starts to attend adult day care. But, it’s important that you recognize the difference between empty complaints and complaints that indicate the adult day care really isn’t working out. Don’t ignore every criticism, as some facilities just aren’t a good fit. If the complaints continue, take a break for a little while and either try again in a few months or start researching new adult day cares. Also, let them know that you’re open to other options if it doesn’t work out, but that you would appreciate them giving it a try.