Talking with your elderly parents or loved ones about their living situations and the possible need for change can be a difficult task.
Many of us put off having this sensitive conversation because of the fear of upsetting someone or to avoid conflict. Unfortunately, delaying this conversation can cause worry and stress to the adult child as well as the elderly parent.
If possible, take time to talk with your parents openly and honestly about their expectations and options should they no longer be able to live independently. Understanding their wishes and desires allows you to better honor your parents’ preferences when making decisions about their futures. When having these conversations, keep in mind that it is your parents’ lives you are discussing. Their wishes and demands should be respected, even if they differ from yours.
The U.S. State Department makes the following recommendations when having a conversation with your elderly parent:
Share your own feelings
Reassure the parent that you will support them and can be depended upon to help them solve their problems.
Help the parent to retain whatever control is possible
in making his or her own decisions. Respect and try to honor their wishes wherever feasible.
Encourage the smallest change possible at each step
Make sure there is enough time between steps so that the parent is more able to adjust to the change.
Educate yourself on legal, financial and medical matters
Focus on the matters that pertain to your parent as background for your conversations, including current knowledge on the aging process.
Respect your own needs
Be honest with your parents about your time and energy limits.
Ideally, this conversation will be ongoing and should become easier to discuss each time. If your situation is particularly difficult and you are having trouble initiating a conversation, ask for help. Personal Care Inc. offers support and assistance to families who may be struggling with creating a care plan that will benefit their parents and fulfill their wishes as they age.
Call us at (800) 927-0716 or email us today!