3 min read
Talking to your parents about
Here are our tips for starting the conversation
Deciding that our parents are ready for in-home care is never easy. Whether it’s a gradual increase in needs or a sudden illness or fall, there may come a time when you and other family members are not able be the primary caregivers.
Ultimately the decision that you and your parents make is about your family’s preferences and practical needs. Flexible, and personalized, in-home care from a professional caregiver may be the best choice for you and your family, but you still need to make sure everybody’s on board with the decision.
Here are a few tips that might help you as you navigate the conversation around care.
Introduce the topic slowly
When you initiate conversations around care, the first thing to remember is it’s a process. It will probably take multiple conversations to bring everyone to agreement. The first step is introducing the need for care in a sensitive, nonjudgemental manner.
Admitting we need support is a sensitive, vulnerable topic for most of us. Even broaching the topic can stir up negative or defensive reactions. Your parents may be worried about finances, quality of life, autonomy, or other emotional topics.
It can be surprising to hear your parents deny they need help when there is abundant evidence to the contrary. Try validating their feelings with phrases such as, “Ok, I hear you,” and give them a little time to process what you’ve shared.
Take your time
Unless the situation is urgent, try not to expect your parents to agree to in-home care the first time you talk with them. They will need time to process the situation and weigh the options.
Ask how they feel
Be inclusive in the conversion, by asking them questions about what they want as they get older. They might wish for help to maintain their home, assistance moving around at home or outdoors, companionship, or just to feel safe and looked after.
Present the facts
Objective, concrete examples of your concerns are more effective than vague assertions, such as “You need help.” Presenting your parents with their options for care can also show that you are invested in supporting them through this change in their lives.
Address their fears
While our parents might feel ok asking a family member for help for personal, non-medical support, it can be embarrassing to ask for help to do things they used to be able to do own their own. When you are helping them find an in-home caregiver, try to involve them in the process as much as possible, so they understand what to expect. Here are a few questions your parents may have:
Who will be taking care of me?
To the extent possible, you can include your parents in the caregiver search. Browse professional profiles, watch profile videos, and ask their opinion. Building a connection with their caregiver even before care starts will ease anxiety and establish trust.
How am I protected?
Safety is our top priority. Caregivers on the Herewith platform undergo an initial background check and a pre-screening with our team before ever meeting a client. We also offer workers’ compensation and professional liability insurance, so your assets are protected.
How do I know the caregiver is a good match?
Based on your care needs and preferences, we’ll compile a list of local Herewith caregivers that might be a good fit. You’ll be supported by our Care Experts throughout the process, as you choose who to interview and hire. Read our tips for interviewing caregivers for more guidance.
How to talk about senior care
Here are our top take-aways for a successful, ongoing conversation. Remember:
Include your parents in the process of choosing an in-home caregiver
Be respectful of their feelings and give them space to process
Bring ideas to the table, but be prepared to compromise sometimes
Emphasize independence and quality of life as your top priority
Talking with your parents about in-home care can be challenging, but we’re here to do everything we can to ease the stress of care for you and your loved ones.
Join us today!