How to encourage your parents to accept aged care support

An older woman and her support worker sit together in a car.

Convincing your parents or loved ones they might need support with daily living tasks can be challenging, but it shouldn’t need to be. With the right approach, it can be an opportunity to talk to your parents about how to maintain their independence for longer.

Five things to consider when discussing support with your ageing parents

1. Seek a second opinion

For many ageing parents, role reversal can be difficult to accept as adult children take on caregiver responsibilities. Finding support for your parents can initially involve a visit from a member of the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). This removes personal biases and can get the ball rolling on a government funding application.

2. Allow your parents to take control

Invite your parents to take control by asking them to browse the profiles of independent support workers in their local neighbourhood. They can select support workers themselves, start a conversation and together, decide what services will be provided and when, and what hourly rate will be charged. This can all be done in the comfort of their home.

3. Start small and start early

Most people don’t consider aged care until there’s a crisis, such as a fall or failing health.

Introduce the idea of proactively getting support in small increments, such as engaging someone to help with housework, then assistance with shopping or gardening. Once your parent has someone familiar in their home providing regular support, increasing the hours will be easier.

4. Consider positioning

You may be interested in an article about five things that can help people maintain independence for longer. Frame the discussion with your parents so engaging an independent support worker becomes about enabling your parents to continue living independently.

5. Accept your limitations

Another important article explores the importance of dignity of risk and an individual’s right to make decisions about their life. As much as we may know our parents need support, it can’t be forced on them.

Start the conversation

‘It’s important you follow a lifestyle of your choosing’

Most older Australians want nothing more than to live independently at home for as long as possible. Remind them they can still live a lifestyle of their choosing while receiving necessary support.

‘Do you think you’d benefit from an extra hand around the house and garden?’

A good time to ask this question is while you’re observing any difficulties they’re having.

‘We can work together to find you the right support’

Remind your loved one they’re not alone in connecting with support and that they can be in charge, that you’re here to help and you can completely organise their supports if they’d prefer.

‘Your funding gives you access to so many support options – let’s discuss which would suit you’

If your loved one receives financial support through a Home Care Package or the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, let them know their funding can be used in many ways. Support options can be tailored to them.

Find out more about how Mable works.