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How To Talk To Senior Parents About Tough Topics

Personal Care at Home in Nightsdale NC
Personal Care at Home in Nightsdale NC

When it comes to aging, there are some serious conversations that must be had. As your senior parent gets older you will need to talk to them about things like medical directives, living alone, when it’s time to stop driving, and when they need personal care at home for hygiene issues.

These types of conversations are difficult even if you have a good relationship with a senior parent. If your relationship isn’t great then these talks can be almost guaranteed to end with bad feelings. But according to communications experts there are things that you can do to make tough conversations easier. When you need to discuss topics like personal care at home you should:

Start Small

When starting a tough conversation you shouldn’t just dive right into the difficult part. Ease into the hard part of the conversation. Start with something small and positive so your senior parent won’t feel like you’re picking on them. For example, if you’re trying to start a conversation about personal care you could start by mentioning that you know how important looking good is to them.

Pick A Time Carefully

Make sure that you start heavy conversations when your senior parent is alert, not tired, and not out of sorts. Avoid having serious discussions after dinner or late at night. Also don’t hit your senior parent with a heavy conversation right after they wake up. Try having a mid-morning coffee or their favorite snack and bring it up then. If you choose the right time for the conversation, they will be more receptive to hearing what you have to say.

Have As Much Information As Possible

Remember that you’re having this conversation to inform and education, not to blame and shame. To help your senior parent understand all the options and issues have as much information as you can get.

If you’re talking about a health issue then you should have printouts and information about that condition. If the conversation is about driving then have information on transportation alternatives. And if the conversation is about personal care and hygiene make sure that you have information on personal care at home for them to read.

You may need to table the discussion to give them time to read and understand all the information that you’ve gathered. If you both need a break then pick a time to start the discussion again when you will both be ready to continue.

Listen To Your Senior Parent

It’s very important not to lecture your senior parent or dictate to them. Even if you know they need to stop driving or that they need help with hygiene they are still processing it. They need to accept their current abilities and feel at peace with the solutions that are available. If they want to talk about all the options then listen to them. Let them talk their way through it. Once they feel comfortable with the options and understand the situation they will be much more likely to focus on positive solutions.


If you or an aging loved one are considering personal care at home in Nightsdale, NC, please contact the caring staff at East Carolina Home Care today. Call (919) 462-7003.

Providing quality home care for seniors and families in and around Raleigh, Holly Springs, Fuquay Varina, Garner, New Hill, Wake Forest, Nightsdale, Wendell, White Oak, Rolesville and Cary, North Carolina.

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