How To Approach Tough Conversations About Care

It can be a difficult situation when you have noticed a decline in your loved one’s ability to care for themselves. While you may think that they may need extra help around the home to keep them safe and well, they may not be so sure.



The most common statements around care are:



These statements have an element of truth to them at times, but getting help isn’t just about the ability to look after oneself. It is also about enriching the time they have to do the things they love.


When your parents refuse help, there are several approaches you can take:

1. Ask Questions


It is best to start with hypothetical questions like “how would you feel about hiring a house cleaner” or “getting help to get to your appointments”? Delve into the reasons why they may be apprehensive… they may feel uncomfortable having a stranger in their home or be worried about the cost. Inform yourself so that you can address these concerns as they arise.


2. Tread Carefully


If you have already had a direct conversation, try a more indirect approach. Maybe talk about other’s experiences with these types of services and how wonderful it was for them. You could also express how some extra help would relieve the worry you may have about them. Or highlight how the extra help would increase their ability to spend more quality time with their children, grandchildren, or friends.


3. Be Understanding


Remember your parents are adults who have lived full independent lives and should be approached as such. The most important thing is to be empathetic to their situation. This may be a difficult time for you but it is far worse for your loved one. There could be a whole host of reasons and emotions that are making it difficult for them to accept help. It is important to understand these reasons and be sympathetic to them.  Make sure you introduce the idea of help and services gradually. 

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