As children, we viewed our dad as a sort of superhero who could single-handedly tackle any obstacle. No matter what went wrong around the house -- whether it was changing an out-of-reach light bulb, cleaning the rain gutters or fixing a broken fence -- dad was there to make things right.
Now that he’s gotten older, you know that it’s no longer safe for him to climb that ladder or fix that fence, but does he? Most likely, Dad might have trouble seeing eye to eye on this topic.
But how do you broach the subject? If it’s time to start talking to dad about hiring handyman services for seniors, we have some pieces of advice to make it go a little more smoothly.
Making Difficult Conversations With Dad Easier
Due to chronic health conditions and/or the variety of physical limitations that can occur with age, older adults often have difficulty performing traditional home maintenance tasks like cleaning and yardwork. But, like many of us, older men rarely like to think about or admit their limitations, so many continue to do the same home maintenance tasks they did when they were younger, putting both their health and safety at risk.
Luckily, that’s exactly why handyman services for seniors exist. These services complete all of those pesky -- and sometimes dangerous -- home maintenance tasks for them, but convincing your dad of their necessity can unfortunately be challenging.
While this may be one of the more difficult conversations that you have with your dad, these tips will make this conversation easier and more productive for both of you.
Don’t put it off.
As soon as you notice signs that your parent is struggling at home, it’s time to talk to them about hiring handyman services for seniors. Older adults often don’t realize just how much their age has affected their balance until they fall off of a ladder or a step stool. By being proactive, however, you can prevent debilitating accidents and ensure your dad’s ability to continue living in his own home.
Focus on the positives.
Many older adults dislike the idea of using handyman services for seniors because they believe it is synonymous with a loss of independence. After all, they’ve been able to do these home maintenance tasks their whole lives, and suddenly losing that ability can be disappointing and scary.
So instead of telling them why they need to take advantage of handyman services for seniors, explain how these services will make their lives both easier and safer. For example, home maintenance services will actually enable your dad to keep living in their home, rather than moving into assisted living or a nursing home.
Focusing on the positives can also help you with any of the other difficult conversations you may need to have as a caregiver for an aging loved one as well.
Be patient and respectful.
Even though patience and respect are essential in difficult conversations like this one, it can unfortunately be very easy to become frustrated if your dad isn’t receptive to the idea of hiring a handyman. Part of it is usually psychological; giving up these seemingly mundane tasks mean that they are going to be forced to give up part of their independence and that’s not easy. In this instance, don’t be afraid to take a step back from the conversation and ask them how they are feeling. Doing so will not only help you consider things from your dad’s perspective, but it also gives your dad the time he needs to think things through.
Do your research.
Searching for handyman services for seniors can be daunting, but there are ways you can narrow your choices. The first thing you should do is speak with your dad about the specific home maintenance tasks he struggles with so that you know what to look for.
Next, ask family members, friends and neighbors for recommendations, and once you find a few different handyman services for seniors, be sure to ask them the following questions:
- Are they licensed within the state and are they bonded?
- What is their rating with the Better Business Bureau?
- What is their physical address? Do they live nearby?
- Can they provide you with any references? Has anyone living near your parent used their service?
- Are they willing to come at unconventional hours should your parent get flustered?
- What exact services can they provide, and if they can’t provide something, do they have a reliable network of people they can refer you to?
Keep dad involved.
Especially if your dad is resistant to accepting help, reassure him that he will play an essential role in researching, interviewing and selecting the home maintenance and repair service. Involving your dad in this process will not only help him feel in control, but it also ensures that he feels completely comfortable with the handyman coming into his home.
Ensuring Dad’s Safety at Home
In addition to hiring a handyman service, there are some other simple ways that you can ensure dad’s safety at home. If your dad suffers from limited mobility, for example, consider purchasing a cane or walker to help him move around the home. Encouraging exercise, installing handrails and scheduling regular appointments with a geriatrician are other ways you can help dad prevent falls.
Medical Guardian medical alert devices are another great way to encourage safety at home. Designed to fit any lifestyle and budget so you’re guaranteed to find the product that’s right for your parent, you can rest assured that you will be instantly alerted of any action on the account by our highly-certified emergency operators. Our medical alert devices are there to keep dad connected to help in an emergency and keep you in-the-know at all times.