Aging Care Conversation Starters for Senior Loved Ones

An adult son sits on the couch next to his elderly father drinking coffee and having a chat.

Use these aging care conversation starters to help initiate the discussion about care needs with an aging loved one.

Perhaps you remember having “the talk” with your parents about those cringeworthy pre-teen topics. If you thought that was awkward, brace yourself for “the talk” with an older parent about concerns you’re noticing and the need for care in the home! This is often very difficult, for many reasons:

  • Your parent may resent what appears to be a reversal of roles or being told what to do
  • They may feel threatened and fearful of losing independence in addition to freedom to make their own choices
  • They may be in denial that there is a problem at all

How can you overcome these very valid feelings to come to a place of acceptance about home care services? Try these aging care conversation starters as a starting point:

  • Plan the conversation: what you will discuss, who will attend, where you can best talk without distractions.
  • Think through what it would be like to be in your parent’s shoes and just how you would want the conversation to go.
  • Resolve to remain respectful and calm through the entire discussion, never attempting to parent your parent.
  • Listen to the person’s worries with an open mind and without preplanned responses.
  • Realize there may be more than one solution – and, that it often takes more than one conversation to attain agreement.

Prior to approaching your parent, practice what you intend to say with someone you trust to give you honest feedback. Role-playing is an excellent strategy to hone your presentation and words and to help you gain confidence.

When you’re prepared to talk to your parent, be ready for any outcome. In an ideal world, they will agree with your concerns and be open to having the support of a home care professional. It’s certainly conceivable that they share your worries, but were uncertain how to broach the topic with you. But likewise be ready for defensiveness, resistance, and perhaps even anger.

If the discussion is leading to heightened emotions and you’re reaching an impasse, pause the conversation and try again later. It could be beneficial to include someone your parent trusts and respects in a subsequent conversation, for instance a close friend or medical professional.

When you are ready to explore home care options for your parent, contact CareWorks Health Services. We are able to start out with minimal support, such as meals, light housekeeping, or transportation, and gradually work up to more care once your parent feels at ease with their caregiver.

We understand how difficult it can be for someone to admit the need for assistance in the home. Our goal is always to encourage an atmosphere of independence in which each person in our care continues to be as much in control of each of life’s decisions as possible. You can contact us any time at (949) 859-4700 for additional details on our highly personalized home care services.