Dearie:  It is important to feel that I am still competent and independent. I don’t want people telling me what to do but do be honest with me. I may need time to adjust and understand that telling me I am old and need help might make me angry. I don’t want to look or be stubborn but sometimes I can’t help myself. In my heart I know I may need help and would like best if my children could help, but I also don’t want to burden them. That is the hardest part for me – how much can I ask of my children?


Barbara: It is important to keep a watchful eye for changes that may increase risk for harm such as changes in mobility, hearing or memory. Be honest but respectful which means not making ultimatums and accepting compromise. Explain what is important to you as the adult child — what would give you comfort and a sense of security. You are not now the parent so do not speak in a demeaning manner. Ask your mother to accept compromise, as you must compromise too, and change will happen in small increments. It will take time and experience for her to adjust to having a stranger in her home providing care and assistance, but hopefully as she and the home care aide get to know each other the discomfort will ease.