Perhaps you recall having “the talk” with your parents about those cringeworthy pre-teen topics. If you thought that was uncomfortable, brace yourself for “the talk” with older parents about concerns you’re noticing and the need for care at home! Knowing how to talk about aging care with your parents isn’t easy, for a number of reasons:
- Your parents may resent what appears to be a reversal of roles or being told what to do
- They could be in denial that there’s a problem at all
- They could feel threatened and fearful of losing independence and the freedom to make their own choices
How can you overcome these very valid feelings to come to a place of acceptance about home care services? Try these recommendations as a starting point:
- Plan the conversation: what you will discuss, who will attend, where you can best talk without distractions.
- Think through what it could be like to be in your parents’ shoes and how you would want the conversation to go.
- Resolve to stay calm and respectful through the entire discussion, never trying to parent your parent.
- Listen to their concerns with an open mind and without preplanned responses.
- Realize there could be more than one solution – and, that it frequently takes more than one conversation to achieve agreement.
Before approaching your parents, practice what you intend to say with someone you trust to give you straightforward feedback. Role-playing is a great way to refine your presentation and words and to help you gain confidence.
When you are ready to talk to your parent, be ready for any outcome. In an ideal world, they will agree with your concerns and be open to having the support of a home care professional. It’s certainly conceivable that they share your concerns, but were unsure how to broach the subject with you. But likewise be ready for resistance, defensiveness, and perhaps even anger.
If the discussion is leading to heightened emotions and you’re heading for an impasse, pause the conversation and try again later. It could be helpful to include someone your parent respects and trusts in a future conversation, such as a close friend or medical professional.
When you’re ready to explore home care options for your parent, contact Generations at Home. We can start off with minimal support, such as meals, transportation, or light housekeeping, and gradually work up to more care once your parents feel at ease with their caregiver.
We know how difficult it can be for someone to accept the need for help at home. Our goal is always to foster an environment of independence in which each individual in our care continues to be as much in control of all of life’s decisions as possible.
You can contact us 24/7 at 727-940-3414 to learn more about our highly customized home care services and for more tips on how to talk about aging care with your parents. We proudly serve St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Gulfport, and the surrounding areas.