The Difficult Discussions

We fight throughout our entire lives…we fight with our siblings, we fight for a job, we fight with our children and we fight with our parents. Fortunately for most of us, our fights are trivial. That is until our health, or the health of a loved one is involved.

Getting our family members to “do what they think we should” is never an easy conversation. Especially if any of those words come up in the conversation…

1. Pick the right time and place for the conversation. Select a non-emotional location as the first step to having a successful conversation about such a sensitive subject. Try and avoid stressful times such as the holidays and consider having the discussion in a neutral environment.

2. Ask questions to direct the discussion. Using this method, children can ask parents what they would do if they fell at home or if they could no longer perform household upkeep and daily tasks.

3. Know your options in advance. Rather than entering into this conversation blind, do your homework beforehand. Know exactly what services are available in your area and be ready with specific recommendations for your parent. Some parents might equate asking for help with losing their independence, and hearing the specifics of what you have in mind can be reassuring.

4. Point out the benefits. Feel free to use examples such as having meals and groceries delivered  frees up time for other things. This also gives their children or friends a chance to visit, rather than working for them.

5. Call in a higher authority. Nearly every family has an authority figure — someone everyone takes seriously — whether it’s a relative, religious leader or even a favorite child. Although it can be difficult to admit, caregivers can sometimes be too close to the situation, and parents may need to hear from someone else that they should get help.


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