vox magazine logo

To tactfully broach conversations about a loved one’s physical and mental health, experts recommend affirming their autonomy, validating their hesitancy with the health care system, and avoiding shame and blame. While we can’t change others’ behavior, we can encourage — and support — friends and family to take steps toward improving their care.

Be prepared for your loved one to potentially get defensive or shut down the conversation. Remind your loved one that you’re coming from a place of concern but don’t press them to talk any more than they’re comfortable. Your goal is to preserve the relationship and, ideally, empower your relative to make decisions for themself. In worst-case scenarios, your relative might keep you in the dark when something serious occurs, like a car accident or a fall, because they’re worried about being blamed or losing their independence, Adekunle says. Keeping the conversation focused on validation and empathy instead of blame and demands can help avoid this.

Ultimately, your loved one is a person with the right and agency to make choices for themselves. All you can do is tell them how much they mean to you and show up for them when it matters.

Read more in Vox.

Written by External Article
Everyone is talking about caregiving, but it can still be difficult to find meaningful information and real stories that go deep. We read (and listen to and watch and look at) the best content about caregiving and bring you a curated selection. Have a great story about caregiving? Use our contact form to submit it to us so we can share it with the community!

Related Articles

manic pixie dream world

manic pixie dream world

Rayne: Eliza, do you consider yourself mentally ill? Eliza: Rayne, at one time, I would have said I am extremely mentally ill. I no longer say that....

Popular categories

After Caregiving
Finding Meaning
Finding Support

Don't see what you're looking for? Search the library

Share your thoughts


Share your thoughts and experiences

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join our communities

Whenever you want to talk, there’s always someone up in one of our Facebook communities.

These private Facebook groups are a space for support and encouragement — or getting it off your chest.

Join our newsletter

Thoughts on care work from Cori, our director, that hit your inbox each Monday morning (more-or-less).

There are no grand solutions, but there are countless little ways to make our lives better.

Share your insights

Caregivers have wisdom and experience to share. Researchers, product developers, and members of the media are eager to understand the nature of care work and make a difference.

We have a group specifically to connect you so we can bring about change.