July 19, 2023 by Dean Bellefeuille

The adult child of a senior and the senior parent sit on the couch discussing home care options.

Everyone remembers “the talk” with their parents. How could you forget? If you thought that was uncomfortable, brace yourself for “the talk” with an older parent about concerns you’re noticing and the need for care at home! Discussing home care options with your parents can be a tough conversation for many reasons:

  • They may feel threatened and fearful of losing independence and the freedom to make their own choices
  • Your parent may resent what appears to be a reversal of roles or being told what to do
  • They may be in denial that there’s a problem at all

How can you overcome these very valid feelings to come to a place of acceptance about home care services? Try these tips as a starting point:

  1. Think the conversation through: who will attend, what you will discuss, where you can best talk without distractions.
  2. Take a step back to consider what this must be like for your parent and how you would want the conversation to go.
  3. Resolve to remain calm and respectful throughout the discussion, never trying to parent your parent.
  4. Listen to the person’s concerns with an open mind and without preplanned responses.
  5. Realize there may be more than one solution – and, that it often takes more than one conversation to reach agreement.

Practice how you plan to navigate the conversation with someone else before you approach your parent. Role-playing is a great way to refine your words and presentation and to help you gain confidence.

Be open to any response your parent may have. Ideally, they will agree with your concerns and be open to having the support of a home care professional. It’s certainly possible that they share your concerns, but were unsure how to broach the subject with you. But also be prepared for resistance, defensiveness, and perhaps even anger.

It’s perfectly fine to pause the conversation if things get too intense. It may be helpful to include someone your parent trusts and respects in a subsequent conversation, such as a close friend or medical professional.

When you feel prepared to start discussing home care options with your parents, contact At Home Independent Living. We can begin with minimal support, such as meals, light housekeeping, or transportation, and gradually work up to more care once your parent feels comfortable with their caregiver.

We understand how challenging discussing home care options can be. Our goal is always to foster an environment of independence in which each person in our care remains as much in control of all of life’s decisions as possible. You can reach us any time at (315) 579-HOME (4663) to learn more about our highly personalized home care services in Syracuse, Camillus, Clay, and the surrounding areas.