When concerned about their health or safety, how do you start a conversation about senior care with elderly parents?
Nobody wants to have ‘the talk’ with their parents about senior living, but it’s sometimes necessary.
This is why we’re sharing some helpful advice about preparing for the conversation.
Write it all down
The conversation could go very differently if you go ahead full steam with emotions, frustrations, and accusations. By planning ahead and writing everything down before approaching the topic, you could save yourself – and your parents – a lot of upset.
Write down all your concerns, thoughts, and feelings, and work with other family members to create a simple, positive, and kind way to highlight your concerns.
Make a list of things you’re concerned about, such as whether they have trouble with daily activities like dressing and cleaning. Perhaps it’s just the house that needs a little maintenance, or do you feel they might be suffering from an underlying condition?
You might have suspicions as to what’s causing the deterioration in your parents, but you don’t know these things for sure. Therefore, it’s important to educate yourself on potential causes for these things, as well as the options available. Having all the information to hand will make directing the conversation much easier.
Some concerns you have may be down to your parent’s emotional wellbeing. It can be easy to fall into a ‘giving up’ mindset when you’re depressed or lonely – which can quickly happen to seniors who live alone and don’t get out much. If this is the case, there are plenty of systems for the support you can put in place without having to resort to home nurses or care immediately.
What most of us don’t realize is that there are many options for senior care. Assisted living in Bethesda, MD, for example, is a great way to provide you with peace of mind while helping your parents maintain their independence. Residents can enjoy having their own space and enjoying amenities like shops, gyms, and salons, all while having 24/7 support as and when they need it.
Once you’ve made up your mind about what you think is best for them, it can be easy to switch off and not fully listen to what your parents have to say. But actively listening to their thoughts and feelings is integral to putting in place the next steps. Show empathy, and try to understand things from their perspective: They may agree that they need help but don’t want to move. Alternatively, they might be worried about the financial aspects of senior care.
Listening to everything they have to say will help you come to a decision together that suits everyone.
The most important thing to remember is that this is their life, future, and therefore their decision. Therefore, you should ensure they feel in control of all decisions before moving onto the next step. That way, any adapting or transitioning that needs to occur can be taken at a pace that suits everyone.