One of the most difficult things for us to say as humans is that we need help. It’s tough to admit we can no longer do it on our own, and this can be even more difficult for an aging parent. We need to ensure we are approaching these conversations with the right mindset so that we can peacefully resolve the situation and give our parents the care they need without any feelings of resentment.
Here are a few helpful tips to navigate getting Mom or Dad to agree to accept the help they need:
1. Try and put yourself in their shoes
We always hear the saying, “put yourself in their shoes,” but it is crucial when you are trying to convince Mom or Dad to accept help. When you approach a conversation with them with their thoughts and motivations in mind, you increase the potential success of the conversation.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help center your thoughts on what Mom or Dad may be thinking:
- Are they acting this way out of habit?
- Are they worried about losing their independence?
- Are they possibly dealing with depression or anxiety?
- Are they confused, or do they possibly have a cognitive impairment?
- What are some things they may be fearing?
When we use these questions to help understand where they are coming from, the conversation is likely to go much better.
2. Treat them like adults.
They may feel as if roles have suddenly been reversed by having to hear you tell them they need help. This can understandably be a bit of a shock to what they have always known. It is easy to talk to Mom or Dad as if they are a stubborn child rather than a parent who is struggling with change, so it’s important to remind yourself that they are your parents rather than your children.
When we treat them like adults, they are more likely to listen to us and respect what we are saying, which makes the conversation easier for everyone.
3. Accept what you cannot change.
It can be easy to take the situation personally and feel as if it is your role to get Mom or Dad to come around, and those feelings can begin to take a toll on you. As much as you might want them to make a certain decision, you have to remember that, unless there is a competency issue, they are in charge of their care.
It’s better for your health and your relationship with them if you remind yourself that you cannot force them to make the decision you want them to make. A healthy respect for their autonomy as adults can go a long way!
Ready to help Mom or Dad establish a care plan?
At Carolina Family Estate Planning, we have helped many family members in your shoes! We understand the difficulties you're encountering with your parents as they accept they need help and for you as a child that only wants the best for them. Our goal is to relieve stress by mapping the way through for you.
Call our office at 919-443-3035 to discuss the best way for you to get started. The earlier you begin planning, the more powerful your options will be and the amount of peace and security we can provide.