Heading home for the weekend?

It may be a good time to check-in with Mum and Dad to see if they need a little help around the home.

Family get-togethers are often when we see signs that Mum and Dad aren’t coping as well as they use to. Knowing what to look for, and having the confidence to raise any concerns, can mean the difference between your parents getting the help they need or waiting until the situation becomes more serious.

Finding the right balance between concern and interference can be hard to get right and raising the subject of getting a helping hand at home can be a real minefield. Yet a little help around the house can be a great way to ensure your Mum and Dad stay at home and maintain their independence.

It can be difficult for parents to admit they need a hand with things around the house, so spending time together can be the best way to get an indication if help is needed. If you are heading home for the holidays, here are a couple of things you can keep an eye out for:

- You may notice that the house is not quite as tidy as it used to be, or that Mum and Dad seem a little forgetful, maybe missing an appointment or forgetting to pay a bill.

- If they’re slowing down and are a little less mobile, or maybe they’re not as keen to play with the kids or get out and about, these could be signs that you need to have a chat.

If you decide that it is an issue you want to raise with your parents, think about your approach and don’t make assumptions about how they will react. It’s important not to jump to conclusions and make decisions on your parent’s behalf. They may be relieved to get a bit of extra help, or they may not want to hear it.

When raising your concerns, it’s good to let them know that you have seen a few things and want to check all is OK. Make it clear that any decision about getting help is theirs and theirs alone. Be respectful, listen, and express how you feel.

It helps to have done your homework before you have the chat so that you can offer some advice on what help is available.

A good place to start may be with some basic cleaning to get your parents comfortable with the idea of having someone in the house.

For more help, find out what home care services are available in your area.