Talking about care

Talking to Your Parents About Home Care

Talking to Your Parents About Accepting Care
Convincing parents that they need extra help can be extremely difficult. In speaking with your parents, imagine yourself in their position. Would you see the need for extra care as a loss of your independence? Would you be reluctant to allow a stranger into your home? Would you be worried about the cost of such care? Every family situation and individual is unique.

Look through some of the suggestions below and see which ones would help your parents understand that in-home care is an option that affirms their dignity and maintains their independence while assuring them of the care they need.


  • Ask your parent’s doctor for help. If a trusted professional makes the suggestion for home care, parents may be more willing to accept it.
  • Offer to get your parents help with time-consuming chores such as housekeeping or shopping. Parents may then discover that in-home care will give them free time to do the things they enjoy. Eventually, should they need more help, such as personal care, they will be more open to accepting that help because they have already experienced the benefits of in-home care.
  • Suggest just trying it for a few weeks to see how they like it. No need for ‘written in stone’ commitments!
  • If one parent is healthier than the other, develop an alliance with the healthier parent before broaching the subject in a conversation with both. Make the point that getting home care will make the healthier parent’s life less stressful.
  • If your parents are still very resistant to having help, try explaining how the situation is affecting you. If worrying about them is affecting your ability to sleep, or affecting your work, let them know. No matter how old your parents are, they always want to help out their children!
  • If your parents are concerned about the cost, there are affordable options. There is no set rule on how many hours per week a client must have. Let them know that their health and happiness, and ability to stay in their home, is far more important to you than any inheritance that might come after they are gone.
  • Injuries to seniors through falling are far more serious than for a younger person. If they are hospitalized due to falling, there is a good chance the health service won’t allow them to go back to their own home. One out of every three seniors fall every year. Having help with strenuous jobs or personal care reduces the risk of falls.
  • If they absolutely refuse to have a caregiver come to their home, try meeting with their prospective helper elsewhere. Meet for coffee or on a walk somewhere. If they are pleasantly surprised, they will be much more willing to have this person in their home.