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Sometimes parents, as they age, will need some assistance at home. Getting them to accept it, however, can be an uphill battle. Here are our tips for getting parents to accept assistance from children or anyone else.

Start With a Conversation

Before doing anything, start with a conversation with your parents. See if you can find out if they perceive that they need some help. Find out what tasks they may be having difficulty with, such as cooking, shopping, cleaning, or laundry. Also, try to learn if there are any of these tasks that they particularly do not enjoy.

Make a List

Then, separately, after you have given it some thought, make a list of what you perceive the parent needs help with, and give it some thought. For example, you may think that your parents’ house needs better cleaning. However, lack of cleaning could indicate health or mobility problems which are interfering with doing household chores. Similarly, a vision problem may mean the parent literally does not see what you are seeing.

Pride and Control

Before having the necessary conversation about assistance, remember that if you suggest your parents need help, they may feel insulted. Be really careful about allowing them to save face. Approach the matter kindly, and reassure your parents that they will maintain control in their lives. Often, resistance to help is more a matter of resistance to losing control rather than a resistance to getting help. Keep in mind that you want to couch the conversation in language that communicates that you are trying to help them, not take over the minute details of their lives.

Another Conversation

Now you are ready to have another conversation with your parents. Suggest that you think they might benefit from some help. Stress that they can play a role in choosing the person or deciding exactly what that person does for them and the schedule.

In today’s article we have talked about getting parents or seniors to accept help, assuming they don’t want it. However, you may be surprised to find that your parents would be happy to have some help. Just be sure to approach the topic with sensitivity and gather information with care first.


The Hamlets at Westsyde is a long-term care and assisted-living community in Kamloops, BC, Canada. With a full range of services, and compassionate care based on the tenets of Christianity, The Hamlets at Westsyde helps seniors live a fulfilling life. 

If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about our community in Kamloops, please call us at (250) 579-9061.

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