5 Tips for Starting a Conversation About Elder Care
No one ever sat down and decided to talk about elder care – or practically anything about getting older – just for the fun of it. Aging is just not an enjoyable topic. But just because it might be easier to talk about something else doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ever bring it up.
At some point you will need to map out a plan with your aging loved one (and possibly other friends and relatives who will be involved or impacted). That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to set yourself up for an ugly and draining conversation, though. In fact, I want to give you five easy tips you can use to introduce the topic…
#1 Choose the Right Time and Setting
Elder care isn’t something you want to talk about when everyone is already tense. Try to pick a moment when your senior is relaxed and comfortable. It could be on a weekend, following a visit with the grandkids, or even during a holiday visit. Even then, you’ll want to ease into the conversation so it doesn’t feel like you are ambushing them.
#2 Break the Ice With a Story
Rather than making the classic mistake of beginning with ultimatums or brochures, simply tell your loved one about an experience one of your friends had organizing care for their parent. Or, mention reading my book and that you want to make sure you have the right information to follow through with your aging loved one’s wishes.
#3 Talk About Possibilities, Not Timeframes
It’s important to stress that you’re thinking about what could happen at some point in the future, not making immediate plans. The only exception to this rule would be if you discover that your parent or loved one is in a situation that is unsafe for themselves or others. Assuming that’s not the case, you’re just looking out into some unknown horizon that may or may not ever come.
#4 Focus on the Positives
Seniors often push back against discussions about their future because they don’t want to give up control of their lives and have understandable fears about nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. However, you might remind them that there could be positive aspects to these kinds of moves, such as getting help with cooking and cleaning or being around others from their own generation.
#5 Don’t Expect Immediate Answers
No matter how well or poorly your initial elder care conversation goes, don’t push for too many details or try to make firm decisions. Instead, simply look to get a sense of what your loved one would prefer and prioritize if they were no longer able to live alone at home. The rest can be addressed at some point down the road.
Don’t Know Where to Start With Your Elder Care Plan?
Making sure your loved one gets the care and attention they need doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give up your life or independence. To find out how I managed to stay sane while ensuring my parents were looked after, ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY.
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