Psychologist Yvonne Thomas, Ph.D. says “Having a candid and vulnerable conversation about their health can illustrate your concerns in a meaningful way. It may even open your parent’s eyes to see why it’s important they stick around for years to come. Here’s how to tackle talking to your parent or parents about health.”
“It’s important for a child to have an open conversation. The parent might be in denial or too overwhelmed or scared to cope with what is happening and/or to get the appropriate help needed,” she explains. “If your parent is continuing to behave in unhealthy ways that are adding to his or her health issues, this needs to be directly and openly discussed.”
“Offer to accompany him or her to the proper doctor for a consultation or appointment. By suggesting this, you make sure your parent will get the help needed. Also, this emotional support can help de-escalate some of their distress in dealing with these health concerns alone,” she says.
She suggests saying something like, “I love you. I want to make sure I am aware of anything that is troubling you or questions you might have about your health. I want us to make a verbal agreement that you will keep informing me about your health, including physical and emotional concerns, so I can help you.”
Yvonne Thomas, Ph.D. is a therapist in Los Angeles. To read the full article, “How to Talk to Your Parents About Their Health” visit aaptiv.com