April 4, 2024 by Dean Bellefeuille

A family caregiver talks to his senior dad after learning how to convince parents to accept home care.

It can be difficult to convince parents to accept home care. It’s a delicate balance between respecting their freedom and ensuring their safety and well-being. If you find yourself in this situation, you’re not alone! We understand the range of emotions that go along with accepting the need for care, and have some tips to help you and your parents get on the same page.

Consider Their Point of View

Take some time to consider why this may be such a challenge for the older adults you love. Often, it stems from a desire to maintain independence and control over their lives. Aging can be a daunting process, marked by physical and cognitive changes that can leave older adults feeling vulnerable. By refusing help, they may be attempting to assert their autonomy and preserve a sense of dignity.

However, parents may be avoiding help because of fear and denial. When it’s a struggle to convince parents to accept home care, it could be because it feels like it’s taking away their independence. Additionally, some people may simply be unaware of the extent of their limitations or the available support options.

Reaching an Agreement About the Need for Care

Wondering how to support older adults during this major change? First and foremost, approach the conversation with empathy and understanding. Acknowledge your parents’ feelings and concerns, and assure them that your goal is to support them in maintaining their independence and quality of life.

Lead with listening. Understanding their fears and hesitations can help you tweak your approach. Offer reassurance that accepting assistance does not equate to losing control, but rather enhances their ability to live comfortably and safely at home.

Compromise will get you far in this process. For instance, if the idea of having help with baths or showers is off-putting, introduce the idea of help with housekeeping, meals, and running errands. Once they get to know and trust their caregiver with these types of less-intimidating services, it’s easier to work your way up to additional care.

If the older adults you love are still having trouble accepting help, consider getting outside recommendations from a professional. Sometimes, hearing advice from an objective expert, such as a healthcare provider, can carry more weight than coming from a family member.

Keep in mind that this journey is going to take time and patience. It may require multiple conversations and gentle persuasion before your parents feel comfortable accepting help. Be persistent yet compassionate, and always prioritize their feelings and wishes.

At At Home Independent Living, we have helped many older adults live fuller and more enriching lives at home, and we’re here to help your parents whenever they are ready, with customized home care solutions in Syracuse, Camillus, Clay, and the surrounding area. We offer a free in-home consultation to help you and your parents talk through the services that will best meet their needs. Contact us any time at (315) 579-HOME (4663).