Speak the truth, lovingly

The path to love

It isn’t easy to care for an aging parent. It’s even harder to tell them that you need help, too.

I was asked to intervene when three sisters felt overstressed. All three suffered chronic illnesses; one shouldered the bulk of caring for their increasingly fragile father.

They could not face being brutally frank, so I had to be. I told him his daughters loved him, but wished he were safer. When dad knew the truth, he still resisted leaving his comfortable home. I suggested calling the CLSC for help, building a support team with local resources, and started assessing residences for future needs for when he might concur that living at home had become utterly impossible.

The daughters felt relieved, as they had done their best. It’s important to act and be prepared — but not force a situation onto your parent.

You can’t strong-arm someone to bend to your will. You can only stay patient. And keep the line of communication open and loving.

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