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Tough Conversations: How to Talk to Your Aging Parents About Hiring a Caretaker


Admitting that you need help is always difficult, no matter how old you are. It can be even more difficult for seniors to admit that they may need extra help with everyday tasks. If you feel your loved one needs assistance around the house and you are considering hiring an in-home caretaker for them, you may meet some resistance. Ebenezer Senior Living offers a few methods to help make this difficult conversation easier.

Get in Contact With Their Doctor

Your loved one may be more willing to listen to their primary care provider than you by yourself, especially if it’s a doctor they’ve been seeing for several years. If you can, speak to them beforehand about your concerns. You also may want to contact a geriatric professional and have them speak with your loved one.

Don’t Diminish Their Concerns

You may be tempted to breeze past all of your loved one’s protests and refusals, but it’ll be a better experience for both of you if you take the time to listen to and address their specific concerns. If you don’t know how to answer a question, or they bring up a concern you realize is valid, let them know and start doing some more research.

Be Prepared to Mitigate Worries

Additionally, try to anticipate what specific questions and concerns your loved one will have and come prepared with answers and reassurances. For example, if they value their independence, make sure to emphasize that they’ll still be able to do everything they currently enjoy. If they’re wary about an unfamiliar person in their home, explain that you’ll set up an interview to get to know them beforehand.

Share Your Own Feelings

Although it may seem selfish, make sure your loved one understands that you’re suggesting this because you’re worried. Speak about how stressful it is for you to be on call all day in case something happens and explain that you have your own life struggles to deal with. It isn’t wrong for you to want to live your own life.

We hope these tips were able to give you some starting points for how to discuss this delicate matter with your loved one. For more advice on dealing with tough conversations, visit our other Ebenezer blog posts.

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Ebenezer is Minnesota’s largest senior living operator with over 100 years of experience serving older adults. As part of Fairview Health Services, Ebenezer is dedicated to healing, discovering and educating for longer, healthier and meaningful lives. ​

Discrimination is Against the Law. We comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws. We do not discriminate against, exclude or treat people differently because of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex or sexual orientation.

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