aging parents

How to Talk To Aging Parents?

When your parents start to age, you may begin to notice they are having difficulty in managing the day to day living. They could need help with chores or preparing meals. But getting them to accept this type of assistance isn’t always easy.

We will cover in this article:

Why elderly parents resist accepting help

Your parents could resist the idea of having someone help them around the home. Even though they want to age in place, realizing they may need help doing it isn’t always an idea they want to acknowledge.

Reasons for resisting in home-care:

  • They don’t think they need a caregiver
  • They are afraid of losing their independence
  • They don’t think they’ll be able to socialize
  • They are worried they’re car keys will be taken from them

Tips for helping your parents accept in-home care

When your parents are adamant about not receiving help, and you are just as adamant that they are going to, there is going to be resistance. Here are some tips which may help you when you talk to your parents:

  • It’s a bad idea to tell them they need a caregiver. Instead, suggest that having someone come in to help them is make life more manageable day to day
  • Involve your parent in the caregiver selection process from the start. If your parent has a say in who is going to take care of them, they will more likely accept them
  • It’s vital that the caregiver you chose is going to be able to develop a long-term relationship with your parent
  • A caregiver who is the same friendly face every day is more beneficial to both you and your parent
  • Be patient with your parent; this is a significant change for them. A decision may not have need made right away, so approach the topic casually
  • Bring to your parents, attention what they can do around the house without help. Mention that will some in-home care, they will be able to do even more
  • Swap the term caregiver with a housekeeper to make it more acceptable. To say to their friends they have an in-home housekeeper will make it seem like an option, not a necessity

Other ways to bring up in-home care

When your parents are still denying the need for in-home care, then you may have to have a more direct conversation. You can express concern about the condition of the home. It isn’t as clean as it once was and there are tripping issues everywhere. You can mention you have noticed worn out throw rugs, loose railings and that they are having difficulty going up and down the steps.

You can mention that the laundry isn’t being washed and dried. You’re concerned about their personal hygiene is and wondering if they’re having problems bathing and dressing. Too, what about the food in the refrigerator? You’ve noticed that some appear to be spoiled and they aren’t eating healthy like they should.

Discuss with them how having an in-home care provider will help them age in place safely. A professional caregiver can help them with personal hygiene needs. Also, they can help with light housekeeping, doing laundry and provide healthy meals. Explain how much more relieved you would be if you knew they were aging safely in place.

By using “I” statements, it shows that it’s coming from an emotional point of view from your position. You are concerned about your parents, you’re worrying about them and you’re afraid one of them is going to get hurt. The thing to keep in mind is that this is probably going to be an ongoing process for a while. But once they realize your concerns are valid, then the going will get a little easier.

Your parents may be concerned that if they can’t take care of themselves, then they won’t be able to age in place. By showing them the options, which will help them age in place, then they may become more receptive to the idea.

Assisted living options

When approaching your parents about an assisted living option, the first thing you need to do is your homework. An abstract conversation about assisted living is more difficult than one with brochures and recommendations. Gather as much information as you can about several places you think your parents may like. Or, take your parents for a drive and drop a place you have previously scoped out.

Another way to do it is to stop by to visit someone you know and have them eat a meal there or engage in a prearranged activity. Just be sure you have checked it out and it has amenities which your parents would enjoy.

Too, don’t start pushing for input from your parents as soon as you get them back home. Just tell them you enjoyed the day or something along those line and go home. If they want to talk about it, they’ll bring up the subject the next time they see you. If they do mention it, be supportive and offer something positive.

However, if you parents express some concerns about moving, then think of it as if they are at least aware of the situation. If you think your parents are receptive, then go over some of the finer points of assisted living options.

Other ways to get help

There are other methods to get help when dealing with your parents accepting assistance with their daily lives. Some of these sources of support are:

  • Geriatric Care Managers can set up a consultation with your parents to explain the benefits of in-home care
  • Unity among your siblings is important too. Talk to your siblings about what their input is on the subject and then present a united front to your parent
  • Another idea is to present the plan as a favor to you. Placing the concern for your parents onto you and letting them feel as if they are doing you a favor and relieving your worries about them

Talking your parents into accepting an in-home caregiver isn’t always easy. But it can be a positive idea and stress reliever if the situation handled correctly.

References:

http://dailycaring.com/talking-to-parents-about-home-care-3-expert-tips/
http://easylivingfl.com/ten-ways-to-convince-parents-to-accept-home-care-assistance/
https://www.caring.com/articles/difficult-conversations-with-seniors
http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Aging/assisted-living-elder-care-aging-parents/story?id=9677517