Having a tough conversation about care with your parents

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As aged care workers, the team at Your Side is quite often asked how to broach a conversation with parents about getting some extra care and support. Usually this comes from worried children and comes from a place of love.

The first piece of advice is to approach the topic gently. Recognise that discussing the need for additional care is a sensitive matter, and listening to your parents’ input is crucial. Acknowledge the challenge of reversing roles, where the child becomes the caregiver. Assure your parents that this journey is a shared one and emphasise your commitment to looking out for them, just as they once did for you.

Explain they may only need a little bit of help and it is not about losing control or independence. In fact, getting a bit of support to help live a comfortable life at home can significantly extend the time people live connected lives, in their community. Highlight the fact that home care services are designed to enhance independence, fostering a more enjoyable and fulfilling life. These services can open doors to social activities, expanding friendship circles and support networks. Research indicates that access to home care services and social support can effectively delay the transition to residential aged care.

When discussing home care, emphasise the tailored nature of Home Care Packages. These packages are designed to address specific needs, providing a personalised approach to support. Explain that these services can include assistance with daily tasks such as cleaning and gardening, medication management, mobility aids, and allied health support, all geared towards facilitating a confident and independent lifestyle at home.

Include discussions about home care into a broader conversation about future planning. Emphasise that home care is a proactive step to ensure a safer and more secure transition into the later stages of life. By including this information, the conversation becomes more about empowering them for the future rather than focusing solely on immediate needs.

Initiating conversations about support and care with ageing parents requires tact, empathy, and patience. Remember: your main concern might be safety, but your parents may be more worried about losing control. By fostering open communication and highlighting the positive impact of home care services, families can ensure that their loved ones age safely and happily at home whilst maintaining autonomy and quality of life.

To learn more about Your Side’s Home Care Packages, call 1300 134 332 or email [email protected].

If you are looking after older parents or relatives, you are also eligible for support from Carer Gateway. Call them on 1800 422 737.

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