Helping your loved one embrace Hero into their life: a practical guide image

Helping your loved one embrace Hero into their life: a practical guide

By Elizabeth B. Miller

Founder of Happy Healthy Caregiver and Certified Caregiving Consultant

You’re here! And that’s huge.

Congratulations on getting Hero, a major step toward simpler med management!

As we know, major steps in the right direction can mean major changes. In my family, we just wanted to keep my parents safe and independent, so they could live at home as long as possible and share life’s moments with us.

This desire for a better quality of life was also what drove Margaret to get Hero.

Meet Margaret

Margaret is a “sandwich” generation caregiver, caring for her mom while raising her own children. Margaret’s Hero story started when she noticed her mom wasn’t taking her heart and blood pressure pills correctly, confusing days and times. After learning about Hero, Margaret recognized a way to help her mother, though she also knew that changing Mom’s daily routine may come with some resistance.

Having supported many families through their health journey, I can assure you that resistance to new routines is normal. As with many things in life, the key is not to give up! This guide will cover three main strategies to help with adopting a behavior change, especially among senior adults: 1. Give empathy 2. Focus on the positive 3. Enhance self-efficacy

Throughout this guide, I’ll be highlighting Margaret’s experiences as examples of how these strategies were applied to successfully support her mom through this change.

Give empathy

One of the best ways to help a loved one (or anyone) get through challenging times is by showing empathy. Empathy enhances connection by helping one feel heard, understood, and accepted.

  • Actively listen to your loved one and seek to understand their pain, fears and goals for their health
  • Withhold judgment, and avoid jumping to problem-solving before acknowledging their emotions.

Mom felt “insolvent” at first, being a grown woman who should be able to take care of herself. Using a technology like Hero felt like a weakness to her. I acknowledged Mom’s frustration and showed empathy through connecting to her emotions, recognizing her desire for independence and self-care. I shared how I sometimes forget to take my meds and reinforced Hero’s role in Mom regaining control of her health.

Focus on the positive

Focus on the positive

For many older adults, presenting information in a positive way that focuses on the benefits is better received than focusing on the risks.

  • Focus on the positive ways that Hero can simplify their med management, and offer more time for activities with family and friends.
  • Stay clear of the negative, such as criticizing or focusing too much on why the current system or process isn’t working.
  • Frame the benefits of using Hero both for them and for you – a way that will help all of you take care of each other. Remember, aging parents often struggle with the switch in caring responsibilities — a parent wants to continue feeling like a parent, taking care of their child.

Knowing Mom wanted to stay at home for as long as possible, I focused on how Hero would help her do that and avoid unplanned visits to the doctor (like the one we had the week before). I openly shared how Hero will reduce my sister’s and my stress level, which helped appreciate its value for the whole family. Mom “hates change”, but Hero worked for our family when we approached things as a team.

Enhance self-efficacy

Self-efficacy refers to a person’s belief in their ability to succeed in a particular situation. Ultimately, it’s self-confidence, which is integral to all success. People with high self-efficacy form a strong commitment to their activities, recover quickly from setbacks, and view challenges as tasks to be mastered.

  • Nurture your loved one’s belief in themselves, especially when learning a new skill like using Hero. Practice using the smart dispenser together!
  • Encourage them to commit to Hero for the next few weeks with your support. Try relating Hero to another new skill they successfully learned and mastered.
  • Use positive reinforcement — not only when they get it right, but especially when they make a mistake or get confused.

Knowing Mom wanted to stay at home for as long as possible, I focused on how Hero would help her do that and avoid unplanned visits to the doctor (like the one we had the week before). I openly shared how Hero will reduce my sister’s and my stress level, which helped appreciate its value for the whole family. Mom “hates change”, but Hero worked for our family when we approached things as a team.

Margaret & Mom: Peace of mind

Margaret’s mom continued living independently at home for another 14 months with Hero’s help. After the initial transition period, Margaret’s mom fell in love with Hero and often mentioned how much she liked the “control” and “ownership” it offered. Ultimately, Hero gave Margaret’s mom — and family — a better quality of life and more quality time together.

A couple more tips:

Like most caregiving activities, a partnership is needed to help each other. Replacing the familiar pill box with Hero has to be teamwork.

Behavior change takes time, patience, and consistency. It took 30 days for Margaret’s Mom to adopt the “new normal” of using Hero. Throughout this time, Margaret was regularly encouraging and supporting her.

Involve trusted people. For some, having a family conversation about Hero — in advance of its arrival — warms the loved one up to the idea. For others, letting a trusted doctor positively reinforce this solution is a good idea.

Take care of you. Feeling a little burned out? Call that friend that makes you belly-laugh. Feeling a lot overwhelmed? Take a break and do something that brings you joy.

Hero comes with a 90-day risk-free trial, which gives you and your loved one the time to form a new routine.

Any questions?

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Elizabeth B. Miller is a family caregiver, certified caregiving consultant, and founder of Happy Healthy Caregiver. Elizabeth helps family caregivers integrate caregiving and self-care with their busy lives through her speaking, consulting, and online resources. She is the host of the Happy Healthy Caregiver podcast on the Whole Care Network, author of “Just for You: a Daily Self-Care Journal,” administrator of the Self-Care Support for Family Caregivers FB Group, Caregiver Ambassador for No Barriers USA, and facilitator of an Atlanta caregiver support group, the Atlanta Daughterhood Circle.

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