Persuading Elderly Parents to Accept Supportive Services at Home

October 30, 2019 | BY PHS Staff

While you, your siblings and the rest of the family may believe that home care for your elderly parents is becoming an increasingly good idea, your parents may be the last to agree. It can be very difficult for anyone, including your parents, to admit they need help. But when it becomes a matter of safety, the first priority is to seek supportive services in Gettysburg PA.

You know that. But how do you convince your parents that it’s in their best interests? It’s not easy. But if you’ve been noticing their home is unusually cluttered or dirty, that they’re missing medication doses, that they’re looking frail because they’re not eating right, or that they have taken one too many spills, it’s your job to bring up the subject – albeit in a sensitive, caring way.

Here are some tips to help your elderly parents realize they would benefit from in-home supportive services.

1.  Think About How You Will Approach the Conversation

  • Write an outline that organizes your thoughts so you don’t forget important points during the actual conversation.
  • Gear the conversation around safety, freedom, peace of mind and social connections, suggests DailyCaring.
  • Make a list of all the issues you’re concerned about, such as difficulty getting groceries, increase in falls, and loneliness, says Better Health While Aging.

2.  Be Respectful

  • In this situation, it can be easy to talk down to your parents like children, even though you don’t mean to. Yes, your relationship may have changed in recent years as you take a more active role in their lives, but don’t consider yourself the “parent” or that you’re the one who “knows what’s best.”
  • Instead, talk to them as equals. Put yourself in their shoes. Let them know the suggestion for in-home supportive services is coming from a genuine and caring place. Listen to what they have to say without interrupting, even if you don’t agree.

3. Involve the Right People

  • This conversation should only involve those who will have a direct role in the care of your parents. This includes siblings, a spouse, etc. Avoid bringing in extended family or friends, we you don’t want them to feel like they are being ganged up on.
  • Plan out a sufficient block of time to talk in a quiet place where everyone is calm and focused on the conversation.

4. Use Conversation Starters

Begin with some casual conversations to ease into the process, building on those to eventually come to larger, decision-focused conversations at a later time.

Use these ice breakers:

  • Say something to the effect of: “I’ve noticed some things take more of your energy lately. What are the vital things you want to accomplish?”
  • Tell them how much you admire the way they’ve handled retirement, asking for advice on what works well for them. Then move into things that perhaps don’t work so well, such as keeping up with household chores, shoveling in the winter or remembering to take medications.
  • You may want to say: “I know we don’t usually talk about these things and I certainly don’t mean to pry, but it would make me (and siblings, etc.) feel so much better if there was a plan in place should we need it.”

5.  Tell Them All the Things That They Could Get Help With

If you are facing reluctance, show them how much easier daily life could be with some assistance, such as with:

  • Making meals
  • Getting rides to church
  • Writing letters
  • Making out bills
  • Visiting friends
  • Lawn maintenance
  • Housework

Contact Preferred HealthStaff

For more tips on how to speak to your elderly parents about accepting supportive services in Gettysburg PA, please contact us at 866-943-9791.