Starting a conversation: Talking to our parents – Helping Hand

We hear you /Talking to our parents - tip guide

Talking to our parents

Conversations with parents about plans for aged care aren't easy, here's what we've learned.

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Tip guide

Starting a conversation with your parents about aged care is daunting. We want the best for our loved ones but we asked ourselves — how do you talk to them without being pushy or presumptuous? We’ve made our share of mistakes navigating conversations about ageing and care, and wanted to share with you some of our learnings.

You don’t have to fix anything

It’s hard to watch your parents struggle with things — our instinct was to jump in and start fixing. But, instead of doing that, we suggest to put yourself in their shoes; how would you like to be treated in that same situation? It’s a great opportunity to talk about how they are more broadly and ask open questions. It might be that they have already considered how they will approach their aged care.

Supported decision making

We’re tempted to make decisions on behalf of our parents but it’s so important to have your parent/s at the centre of the decision making process and involved in the conversation. They need to feel empowered to make choices for themselves, knowing they have your support. For us, this meant putting aside our own preferences, talking through lots of options, and listening to them.

Do your research

Coming into a conversation like this with good knowledge will reassure your parent/s that you’re in this together. Understanding the system and the services available will help everyone feel more secure.
A good place to start is with, and talking to others who have been through the process already.

Helping Hand resources

Some of the information we’ve gathered up here on our website might also help.

Help at Home
The levels of support available at home
How to access help at home

Residential care
How do I move in?

Types of respite and how to arrange access

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Find out more about getting help at home

Getting some help around the house, such as cleaning, gardening or personal care, can make life easier and help you stay in your own home for longer.

More about home care