Convincing Your Aging Parent to Accept Help: 7 Tips and Strategies

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Naborforce - DFW

For more information about the author, click to view their website: Naborforce

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Jun 19, 2024

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Texas - Dallas, Collin, SE Denton & Rockwall Counties

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Convincing Your Aging Parent to Accept Help: 7 Tips and Strategies


Many seniors express a strong desire to age in place, remaining in their own homes for as long as possible. However, despite this preference, the reality is that a significant gap exists between their desire and the resources available to make it happen. According to AARP, a staggering 88% of Americans aged 50 to 80 wish to continue living independently at home, yet only 15% feel adequately equipped financially and otherwise to do so.

So, what are these crucial resources? As our parents grow older, they inevitably encounter challenges that necessitate assistance to safely and independently remain in their homes. These resources can range from simple home modifications to tasks as basic as changing a bedsheet. Eventually, there comes a time when discussing the need for help with aging parents becomes necessary. At Naborforce, we recognize the sensitivity and difficulty of initiating this conversation.

Before broaching the subject of assistance at home, it's important to consider why aging parents might resist acknowledging their need for help. One of the primary reasons is the fear that accepting assistance signifies a loss of independence and autonomy, a stark reminder of their advancing age. For some, it feels like the first step toward being dependent on others for care, while others may resent feeling as though they're being told what to do. Understanding and addressing these emotional barriers is the first step toward approaching the conversation empathetically.


To help navigate this delicate discussion with aging parents, here are seven actionable tips:

  1. Assure Them of Independence: Reassure your parents that accepting help does not equate to helplessness. Just as everyone, regardless of age, relies on others for support at times, accepting assistance is a natural part of life's ebb and flow.

  2. Normalize Asking for Help: Many seniors fear burdening their loved ones by asking for assistance. It's crucial to emphasize that helping one another is a fundamental aspect of human relationships. Friends, family, and neighbors often find joy and fulfillment in lending a helping hand.

  3. Highlight Everyday Services: To make the idea of accepting help more acceptable, remind your parents that many people of all ages use services like DoorDash, Uber, and Instacart for convenience and assistance. This normalization helps them see that seeking help is a practical choice, not a sign of weakness or age-related dependency.

  4. Enhance Safety and Independence: Illustrate how accepting help with certain tasks can actually enhance their safety and prolong their ability to live independently at home. Tasks that have become challenging or risky, such as changing light bulbs or navigating slippery surfaces, can be managed more safely with assistance, reducing the risk of falls and injuries.

  5. Preserve Energy for Enjoyment: Explain how delegating tasks can conserve their energy for activities they truly enjoy. By reducing the physical demands of daily chores, they can maintain control over their routines and decisions, fostering a sense of autonomy.

  6. Promote Social Engagement: Seniors often face the risk of social isolation as they age, especially if they no longer drive or if their social circles diminish. Emphasize how accepting help can actually increase their social engagement. Whether it's through shared activities or outings facilitated by caregivers or community services, staying connected can have significant health benefits and improve overall well-being.

  7. Mutual Assistance: If one family member bears the brunt of caregiving responsibilities, it can lead to burnout and strain on relationships. Encourage your aging parents to see accepting outside help as a way to relieve this burden and ensure that everyone has more quality time together.

Approaching the topic of accepting assistance with empathy and understanding can make a significant difference in how aging parents perceive and ultimately embrace the support they need. By focusing on the benefits and normalizing the need for assistance, you can help facilitate a smoother transition for everyone involved, ensuring that your loved ones can continue to live comfortably and safely in their own homes for as long as possible.

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Naborforce

Aging in Place 3015 West Moore Street, Richmond, Virginia, 23230

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