How to Help Elder Parents Accept Professional Assistance

Young Woman and Elderly Couple Talking and Smiling

We grew up seeing our parents as immovable pillars. They’re constants in our lives, always there to support us. So when their health begins to fail, it’s scary. When we see them take a fall or get sick and they don’t get back up immediately, it’s rattling. However, remember that as upsetting as this is for you, it’s exponentially more upsetting for them as they are the ones experiencing it.

The Physical and Emotional Stress of Aging

People age at different rates, but no one is exempt from the eventual aches and ails that time brings. The human body just didn’t evolve to grow old as we have without any negative side effects. 

Aging is a hard subject to broach; it is the change we can’t control. For example, we can’t run as much or carry as much as we used to even when we want to. It’s a reminder of our mortality, the uncomfortable notion that one day we won’t be around anymore.

This discomfort can make your parents reluctant to discuss solutions to the problem, such as signing up for a home health service. We’re all guilty of dodging issues from time to time. However, health concerns aren’t something we can avoid for long. 

Here are some ways you can tactfully broach the topic with your parents without breeding resentments.

Do Your Research

Your parents will have many concerns about getting home health care. Do your research beforehand. Have it at the ready, so you can help allay their fears.

Prepare for an Aggressive Reaction

There is no doubt that this will be a difficult conversation; your parent or parents may lash out. Remember that their reaction isn’t about you; it’s about the topic. Practice compartmentalizing and compassion for your parents. They’re likely scared of accepting that they have health issues.

Don’t Push It

You won’t get them to agree with you in one sitting. This may be something you’ll need to chip away at. Know when to drop the subject, especially when you’re upsetting your parents. Come back to the topic another time and try again. Rome wasn’t built in a day. 

Talk About Your Feelings

They may bring up their feelings of shame or fear. Don’t invalidate their feelings. Reassure them, but don’t downplay their feelings. Talk about your own feelings, but ensure the conversation is still centered around them and their health needs. You can have this conversation with siblings and other family members.

Talk About the Positives of Home Health Assistance

Highlight the benefits they’ll gain from having health professionals assisting them. Talk about how physical therapy can give them more physical mobility and independence. A home health aide is trained to assist them with private needs such as personal hygiene. A nurse can monitor their symptoms more accurately than family members who are untrained in certain circumstances.


Accepting home health services can be difficult for people. For some, it’s due to denial since accepting help means that there’s a problem with them. They’d rather pretend that everything is fine. For others, it’s pride. They refuse help because they find it shameful. For other people, it’s just that change is scary. Whatever your own parents’ reasons are, be there for them at every stage of the process. Have patience with them. Acceptance is a journey.

Looking to get senior home health care and support? Reach out to Gateway Home Health today! We do home-based clinical care with responsible love and concern. We are based in Colorado Springs and Denver.

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