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How-To: Discussing Home Care Options With An Aging Parent

Reviewed by: MySeniorCare Staff
Last Updated: 4/15/2011 1:15:05 PM

Sometimes after visiting or talking to a parent, many adult children find themselves wondering if their mom or dad might benefit from having some help around the house.

Whether it is the result of the sudden death of a spouse, recovering from illness or surgery or simply from advanced aging, home care can be a great option to allow your parent to remain at home, living as independently as possible. Although it is one of the most prevalent forms of senior care, it can be difficult for an aging parent to accept and openly discuss.

Talking to an aging parent about requiring assistance is an important first step towards helping them live the highest quality life possible while remaining at home. There are a number key issues you'll want to discuss, some more difficult than others. In order to communicate your points effectively consider using the following guidelines to help focus your efforts and communicate as effectively as possible in a difficult situation.

Practice Makes Perfect

Think ahead of a location and time to have the conversation. Practice the conversation with a friend or family member. Consider having a mutual, trusted friend or family member present. Someone who both parties trust and respect. Be straightforward and clear regarding the topic of discussion. Give your parent time to process and think about what you are saying. Speaking too quickly can lead to misunderstanding. Respect the right of your parent to agree and disagree. Be aware of your own feelings and emotions. Do your best to anticipate how you might react to certain situations in preparation. Be prepared for the discussion to end before you want it to.

These guidelines can serve as a way to discuss an emotionally laden topic with a parent, in a way that is comfortable for all parties.

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