Helpful Tips to Use When Talking About Aging With Your Parents

The adult child of a senior has a conversation with the senior while they both sit on a couch.

Get help talking about aging with your parents with these tips!


Although we’d all like to, we never forget that preteen, cringeworthy “talk” with our parents. If you thought that was awkward, brace yourself for “the talk” with older parents about concerns you’re noticing and the need for care at home! Talking about aging with your parents is often extremely difficult, for a number of reasons:

  • Your parents may resent what seems to be a reversal of roles or being told what to do
  • They could feel threatened and fearful of losing independence in addition to freedom to make their own choices
  • They may be in denial that there is a problem at all

How can you overcome these very valid feelings to get to a place of acceptance about home care services? Try these recommendations as a starting point:

  1. Don’t wing it. Think it through: what you will discuss, who will attend, where you can best talk without distractions.
  2. Put yourself in your parents’ shoes and consider how you would want the conversation to go.
  3. Resolve to remain calm and respectful through the entire discussion, never attempting to parent your parents.
  4. Listen to your parents’ concerns with an open mind and without preplanned responses.
  5. Recognize that there likely is more than one way to navigate their aging – and, that it frequently takes more than one conversation to attain agreement.

Prior to approaching your parents, practice what you intend to say with a friend you trust to give you honest feedback. Role-playing is a great strategy to hone your words and presentation and to help you gain confidence.

When you’re ready to approach talking about aging with your parents, be prepared for any outcome. In a perfect world, they will agree with your concerns and be open to getting the support of a home care professional. It’s certainly possible that they share your worries, but were unsure how to broach the topic with you. But likewise, be ready for resistance, defensiveness, and possibly even anger.

If the discussion is producing heightened emotions and you’re heading for an impasse, pause the conversation and try again later. It may be beneficial to include someone your parents trust and respect in a follow-up conversation, for example, a close friend or medical professional.

When you are ready to explore home care options for your parents, contact Golden Harmony. We are available to start out with minimal support, such as meals, light housekeeping, or transportation, and gradually work up to more care once your parents feel comfortable with their caregiver.

We know how difficult it can be for someone to accept the need for assistance in the home. Our goal is always to foster an atmosphere of independence in which every person in our care remains as much in control of all of life’s decisions as possible. You can contact us any time online or at 919-426-7522 for more information on our highly customized home care services in Raleigh, Cary, Wake Forest, and the surrounding areas.