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With ‘Difficult Parents,’ How Can You Talk About In-Home Care without Them Getting Angry with You?

In-Home Care: Supporting Senior Parents with Care in Wyckoff, NJ
In-Home Care: Supporting Senior Parents with Care in Wyckoff, NJ

If you’re like most people, you never imagined that you would one day have to ‘parent’ your own mother or father, or both. Parenting an aging parent is not what any of us ever signed up for, but when the people you love, the people who raised you and took care of you until you reached a certain age, face health hurdles and other obstacles, you want to do whatever possible to help.

Most family members who become caregivers never realize that they have taken on a “job.” But, that’s exactly what it is: a job. And like a job, you need to take it seriously. With all the other responsibilities and obligations you have in your own life, though, that can be difficult.

That’s why professional in-home care is so valuable. Bringing up the topic of in-home care can sometimes feel even more challenging than just sacrificing your time every day to support your aging parents.

So how can you actually discuss the topic of in-home care or any other elder care option with your mother or father or both without them getting angry with you for it?

Be gentle.

Understand where they are coming from. They are probably frightened about the future. They’re uncertain about how things are going to play out from here. They are also likely feeling very vulnerable.

When you bring up the topic that they just don’t want to hear or think about, like elder care, they are probably going to be defensive. That defensiveness can come across as an attack. It can come across as offensive.

So, start the conversation, however many conversations it takes, with gentleness.

Be patient.

What does this mean in light of the gentleness we just spoke about? When you’re gentle, you are coming from whatever discussion with empathy. When you’re talking about patience, you’re going to set aside your ego and your fear and your desire to have them choose in-home care immediately and realized this is not a sprint.

When you’re patient, you’re simply going to let them vent, let them shout you down, slam the door in your face, and still be there for them without judgment, without animosity, and without anger.

Understand they may be motivated by fear.

As mentioned in the first point of this article, fear is often a driving factor in a person’s reactions. If fear is driving your mother’s or father’s reaction toward you talking about in-home care, they are probably going to lash out.

What they may be afraid of is losing their independence, their autonomy. They might be afraid of the future, of dying, or of facing other health challenges. They may be afraid of the unknown. Just understand that fear and that may help you increase your level of patience.

Be persistent.

Some people will react positively to the topic of home care assistance right away. Others may take months and months, possibly even years before they come around and realize the benefits it could offer them at this stage in their life.

Don’t drop the subject if they need help. If it’s either you or somebody else, do the best you can, but keep talking about it. You may reach a point in time when you have to put your foot down and say, “I can’t do this anymore.” Before you reach that point, though, keep learning about in-home care and keep talking about it.

Finally, you may have to limit your personal support.

As we just mentioned, there may come a time when you have to step back and tell your elderly mother or father that you just can’t do this anymore, that they need some other type of help. Some people won’t look into it until they realize there are no other options.

Hopefully, though, when you’re gentle, patient, empathetic, and kind when talking about in-home care, they will realize how important it is for them and you.


If you or an aging loved one are considering in-home care in Wyckoff, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Applause Home Care today. Call (201) 326-8051

Applause Home Care provides independent, non-franchised quality Home Care for elders and families in and around Fort Lee, Hackensack, Ridgewood, Wyckoff, Paramus, Glen Rock, Pompton Plains, Franklin Lakes, Westwood, Montvale, and Fair Lawn, New Jersey.

Jim Prussak

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