How to Talk about Difficult Subjects with an Older Parent

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Discussing Difficult Topics with Your Senior Loved One in Tampa Bay, FL

As your elderly loved one ages, the need for conversations about subjects such as decreased physical or mental health or the possibility of home care may arise. Approaching sensitive subject matter carefully can help you maintain a stable relationship and keep the lines of communication open. Here are some tips for discussing difficult topics with your loved one.

Plan Ahead

Take time to gather relevant information regarding the subject you want to discuss. You should also choose your time and place strategically. You never want to have an important conversation at a time when you or your loved one may become emotionally or physically exhausted or in a place that lacks privacy.

If you want to introduce your parent to the idea of getting help at home, try hiring a caregiver for a few hours a day or a few days a week. For families living in Clearwater, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.

Be Realistic

You shouldn’t expect everything to be resolved in one conversation. Sometimes you have to plant the seed and revisit the topic later. You should also be realistic about what you promise your loved one. Guaranteeing you’ll never do something is often a recipe for disappointment, since you cannot anticipate what the future may hold. As a result, this could leave your loved one feeling betrayed and you feeling guilty.


A conversation requires two people. Express your concerns, but also take time to listen and be respectful of your loved one’s needs. Try to anticipate any questions ahead of time so you’ll be prepared to respond and reassure your loved one that you want to take his or her wishes into consideration.

If your loved one is hesitant about receiving assistance with everyday activities, remind your parent that he or she isn’t alone. Many older adults are choosing to age in place, and some need a helping hand to continue living at home safely and comfortably. Luckily, there is professional home care seniors can trust and rely on.

Don’t Threaten

No one likes an ultimatum. If your loved one becomes obstinate, try to resist the urge to threaten or coerce him or her into compliance. In many cases, your loved one may just need some time to adjust to your idea. Instead of arguing and escalating the situation, try to bring it up again at a later time. You may even try having another family member make a similar suggestion. Hearing the same information from another source may make your loved one more open to the idea.

Practice Honesty

Being deceitful is the fastest way to lose your loved one’s trust. Honesty shows you respect his or her rights, thoughts, and feelings. In your discussions together, make sure your honesty is balanced with respect.

It’s essential to be open and honest with your loved one about important topics such as his or her need for assistance with daily activities. The type of in-home care Clearwater, FL, seniors need can vary. Some need assistance a few hours a day, while others require more extensive around-the-clock assistance. At Home Care Assistance, we tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual care needs, and the plans can be adjusted at any time. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call Home Care Assistance at (727) 330-7862 today.

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