When your parents tell you they don’t need help, but it’s obvious they do, it’s important to find a balance between offering support and letting them remain in control of their lives.
Respect Your Parents’ Wishes About Their Life Choices – Your parents may not want help with certain tasks or be open to having someone come by regularly. You can still offer assistance without taking over all of their responsibilities. It’s important to honor their decisions and not push them into something they don’t want to do.
Ask Open-Ended Questions About Help at Home – This is a way of asking that doesn’t put the burden on them to come up with an answer. Instead, you can simply say something like: “How can I help?” or “What do you need me to do?” Don’t be pushy about it—just offer up what you can do and see what happens!
Offer Practical Assistance and Suggest Senior Resources – Rather than making sweeping changes, start by making small suggestions to help your parents. For example, you could offer to help with grocery shopping or suggest they hire a lawn care service to take care of the lawn.
Be Patient and Understanding with Your Aging Parents – They may not want to make changes, or they may not have the energy to do so. Don’t rush them into making decisions or giving up their independence; they’ll be more likely to accept your help if they feel like their choices are still in their hands.
Make Sure Your Parents Feel Valued and Wanted – You can do this by acknowledging their feelings and opinions, respecting them, thanking them for their advice and showing that you value their opinion.
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Adapted from an article written by Michelle Flores, Amada blog contributor.