It’s hard to imagine our loved ones needing more help as they get older, but talking about it can actually help them stay independent at home for longer. Here are some signs that it’s time to talk to your older loved ones about getting extra support, along with some tips on gently starting the conversation.


Recognize the Signs

Look for signs that your loved one might need extra help. These signs can be minor, like your dad struggling with the mail or your mom forgetting appointments. Still, they can become more significant problems if ignored. Paying attention to these signs and having a caring conversation with your loved one is important.

Look for subtle changes in their home, how they’re managing daily tasks or their mood. Also, watch for any shifts in their physical health or memory. If you’re worried about their health or mental state, seeking medical advice is a good idea.


Create a Safe Space

Talking about the future can be scary, but a caring and understanding approach makes all the difference. Start by asking open-ended questions, like “Where do you see yourself in the future?” or “How do you feel about planning ahead?” This gives your loved one space to share their feelings and concerns without feeling pressured.

Look for natural chances to bring up the topic, such as noticing if your loved one struggles with specific tasks. For instance, you might say, “I’ve noticed it’s been tough to keep up with errands lately. Have you thought about getting some extra help?”

Choose a peaceful time with few distractions to have this conversation. Creating a comfortable environment will encourage open communication and make it easier for them to share their thoughts.


Start Small

Start by discussing tasks or services that could be helpful for your loved one. For instance, suggest beginning with assistance with light housekeeping, grocery shopping, or meal prep.

Involve your loved one in decision-making by asking for their input on what they need help with and what type of support would be most beneficial. You could also suggest a trial period for certain services, such as having someone assist with household chores or errands for a few hours a week.

Emphasize the benefits of extra support, like having more free time, increased safety, better well-being, and more social interaction. Be patient and flexible as your loved one adapts to receiving additional help. Encourage them to share concerns and offer support to help them transition comfortably to a lifestyle with more support and independence.


Have Compassion

As our loved ones age, they might be unsure about accepting help from others, fearing it could affect their independence or privacy, especially if they’ve been independent for a long time. When talking to them about this, it’s important to be understanding and caring. Let them know you value their feelings and assure them that your suggestions come from a place of love.

Encourage them to consider how getting support can make living at home more comfortable and safe without losing their independence. For example, companion services can offer helpful non-medical assistance with things like household chores and running errands while letting them keep their routines and make their own choices. They can continue doing what they enjoy while getting help with tasks that have become hard for them.

Share stories of other people who have benefited from similar services to show them that asking for help is normal and can be helpful for many older adults. Remind them they’re not alone in facing these challenges and that resources are available to help them feel more confident about this stage of life.


Offer Choices

Giving choices helps your loved one maintain their independence while getting extra help. For example, if you are considering companion services, let them choose their in-home companion and ask what qualities they want, like trustworthiness and shared interests. Make a list of potential companions together for them to choose from.

Involve your loved one in interviewing potential companions and discuss their expectations and visit schedules. They should feel comfortable asking questions and sharing concerns to ensure they’re happy with their choice.

Let your loved one decide when and how long they want their companion to visit. Listen to what activities they prefer and what kind of help they need, like cleaning or cooking. Allow them to decide how they spend time with their companion, whether going for a walk or chatting at home. This way, they can feel independent while still getting additional support.


Empower Your Loved Ones

Talking about getting extra help for aging loved ones is challenging but important for their well-being and safety. To make it easier, notice the signs, create a safe space for discussion, start small, show compassion, and offer choices. This way, you can help your loved ones get the support they need while keeping their independence for as long as possible.



The Maxim at Home Team is Here to Help.

If you’re looking for support for a loved one, consider Maxim at Home’s companion services. Our Companions are here to help with daily tasks, provide company and conversation, and offer transportation for errands, appointments, or shopping trips.


Learn more about our:

  • Homemaker and companionship services
  • Easy scheduling platform
  • Competitive pricing
  • Convenient 1-hour service minimum


Sign up in seconds to access our on-demand scheduling platform for free with 24-hour availability. Here, you can find our team of thoroughly screened and caring Companions.


If you have any questions about our services, please call 1-844-624-5646  to speak with one of our friendly Advisors.


AARP – 5 Difficult Family Caregiving Conversations


Johns Hopkins Medicine – Tough (But Important) Conversations


True Link – How To Have Difficult Conversations with Aging Parents


National Institute on Aging – Does an Older Adult in Your Life Need Help?