How can I get the person I am caregiving for to accept help?

When trying to offer family caregiving support, it always helps if you have had family conversations over the years so that the topic is not a completely new idea. If you haven’t, here are some tips for getting started:

Think about the best person to have this conversation — it might not be you. Hint: If you are the youngest in the family, you might be considered the baby, no matter what your age. Perhaps the oldest son is the one Mom listens to; even if you are the trained nurse who knows a lot and he is an engineer with no experience in this area, Mom might do what her eldest son says.

Be open and honest, and share your feelings. Present your concerns as just that — your concerns. “I must tell you that I am so worried about you falling in the middle of the night when no one is here to help you. I almost can’t sleep at night myself.”

Use others as examples to open the conversation or make your point, such as: “Dad, I spoke with my friend yesterday, and she is so upset. Her mother was at risk in her house by herself, and she never told her family just how frail she was. Now she is moving to a care facility. I want to be sure that we never go through that … so can we talk?”

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