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Dealing with Complicated Family Caregiving Issues

Just when you thought that family caregiving couldn’t get more complicated… but upon arriving home for the holidays you spot several concerns that leave you worrying more about Mom and Dad. When this happens, you may be left wondering what to do:

How do you begin to talk with your elderly mom about getting more help?

When do you discuss with your dad giving up the car keys?

What do you say to your brothers and sisters when you’re stuck with all the caregiving and you can’t count on your siblings to assist?

When you’re a family caregiver, the list of possible caregiver questions and issues is endless.

But everyone is home for the holidays; they are the best time to assess if an older adult needs help. But take care not to ruin the fun or cause a family fight.

Don’t get into the topic when everyone is at the dinner table nor when they may have had too much holiday wine, advises Gail Hunt, President and CEO of the U.S.’s National Alliance for Caregiving.

“When talking with your siblings about your concerns for Mom and Dad, go out to lunch to have that discussion rather than right in the middle of the family festivities. Then approach a parent in a non-threatening way. Perhaps you’re in the kitchen making pies with Mom. You might ask, ‘I saw those bills on the dresser. Is there something I can do to help?’”

The following informational tool has been developed by Home Instead Senior Care for adults who have parents over the age of 70. We invite you to complete this quiz to determine the quality of your parental conversations. After you answer the following 15 questions, you will receive an assessment of your conversational relationship with your parents, along with resources and tips that can help you talk to your aging parents. This assessment is intended for educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as a recommendation for a specific course of action: Communication Assessment.

Need help getting these important conversations off the ground, visit our Conversations Starters page for more information.

Home Care San Francisco Bay Area serving seniors in San Bruno, San Mateo, Walnut Creek and Concord. Call us at 415-333-3944 or 650-877-8009.

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