Talk with Parents

Perhaps one of the most difficult conversations you may have with your parents or loved ones will be about bringing in a home care companion or support care person into the home. This conversation has led many a well-meaning family member down the road of mixed feelings. We have seen firsthand how this situation has led many families down a road of confusion, uncertainty and sometimes, even unnecessary guilt. Here are some simple tools to use if you are thinking about home care for your loved ones, and how to address the conversation of bringing in a support services.

How can I tell if it is time to bring in Home Care or have a Home Care Assessment by a Professional Care Manager?

The first thing to do be is honest. This isn’t a time to worry about “ruffling feathers”.

Go to your parents or loved one’s home and…

Take a good look around. Look with “new” eyes, as if you have NEVER been there before.

Look at your loved one and the home environment.

  • Is the home well maintained?
  • Are there safe pathways or fall hazards?
  • Is there safety equipment such as grab bars / benches in bathing areas?
  • Are there fire hazards? (smoke alarms, etc.)
  • Is the mail opened?
  • Are the bills being paid on time?
  • Is your loved one clean and well kept?
  • Are there bad odors in the home?
  • Look in the refrigerator and cabinets?
  • Is there spoiled food items in the home?

So now, you can have the “talk”… go slow and VERY delicately.

The best way to approach this situation is to start with “I” and not “you”. Remember, your parents or loved ones, no matter how old you are, will always see you as their child or someone “younger”. They are the “parent” or elder in this situation. Approach this gently. Don’t put them on the defense, this has to be a good thing, something that will help and support them. Not something forced on them for their own good.

Let them know that you are concerned about their situation, depending on what you find during your detective work, and that it is affecting you and your ability to concentrate on your daily life (kids, work, etc.). It may encourage them to want to have some support in their home. They will want to help you, to support you by bringing in someone to help and support them; they will be helping you by relieving your concern over them. This talk also needs to be about encouraging their independence and strengths, while keeping them safe in an environment of their choice.


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