Family relationships are complicated and when the dynamic shifts and suddenly you are the caregiver to aging parents, conflicts often arise as they resist help while you constantly worry about their safety. You want to respect their wish to live at home for as long as possible, but concerns about your parent falling or having a medical emergency can keep you awake at night.
Victoria Lifeline has been working with families for almost thirty years and we understand the challenges you face. We also understand the stress you are under trying to balance your work and family commitments. Caring for a loved one is not an easy task.
Liz, family caregiver
We hear the same objections you do and face the same resistance. That’s why we are here to help. We’ve learned a few things over the years about how to approach the subject. Telling a loved one they need a medical alert device can be interpreted as, ‘you don’t think I can take care of myself.’
So how do you start the conversation? We try to start by listening.
Here are a few tips on talking to your loved one:
- Validate their fears and listen to their objections. Having an honest conversation about why they don’t want a medical alert device may help you ease their concerns.
- Talk to your loved one about what’s important to them.
Over 90% of older adults surveyed said they want to live at home for as
long as possible. If independent living is their goal, Victoria
Lifeline can help them age in place safely. It is a resource that supports
independence and healthy living, giving people the confidence to go
about their everyday activities knowing they have access to immediate
- Discuss the importance of preventative care.
Your loved one probably goes to the doctor for regular check-ups. They
eat well and stay physically active. And of course they wear a seatbelt
in case of a car accident. We do things every day to maintain health
and wellness. A personal help button is no different – you wear the
button in case you need it. Unfortunately, you never know when an
accident might happen, but you can be prepared for one. Immediate
intervention can help prevent needless complications after a fall or medical emergency, avoiding a lengthy hospital stay and a difficult rehabilitation.
- Keep them involved in the process. Do the research together and talk about all the options. If cost is one of their objections, they can read about our standard service. For a little more than a dollar a day they can enjoy the peace of mind that comes from having a personal help button.
- Enlist the help of a trusted professional.
Victoria Lifeline is recommended by doctors, nurses and other
healthcare professionals across this province. A conversation with a
family doctor about the serious consequences of a fall may be all the
encouragement they need.
- Share stories.
Clients tell us they can’t imagine living without Lifeline. Sometimes
the perspective of someone who has used the service can make all the
difference. Read through some customer stories with your loved one so they can hear from the people who matter the most - our clients.
- Let them see for themselves what it’s all about. Victoria Lifeline offers a no obligation home visit
to educate people about our service. We will bring the equipment to
them and demonstrate how it works. Your loved one may be initially
resistant because they think the equipment is complicated or confusing.
Not knowing what to expect can be unsettling.
- Remind them there is no contract.
No contract means they can use Lifeline for as little or as long as
they need. Encourage them to try the service for a few months. Once they
experience the way a personal help button makes them feel more
confident and safe in their own home, they may welcome it into their
- Lifeline has clients of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. A
personal help button is not about age. In fact, we have clients ranging
in age from 19 to 103. What do they all have in common? The desire
to live independently on their own terms. Lifeline is a discreet, simple way to access help of any kind.
Even once you’ve had the talk with your family member, the answer might still be no. Sometimes it takes more than one conversation. We are here to support you and your loved one in any way we can. We have a wealth of educational materials available, including brochures on fall prevention and the importance of staying physically active. We can mail them directly to your family member or bring them as part of our no obligation home visit.
Finally, click here for a great article with tips on caring for your aging parent from Lifestyles 55 news magazine.