“Talking about long-term care needs with an elderly parent or other loved one can be a difficult thing. You may not know exactly how to approach it without coming off as rude or disingenuous. However, when it comes to a loved one’s health, it is important to cast aside how you feel to ensure that they can live safely and happily later in life. It is especially important to have this conversation before a problem occurs, not after.” Joe Gilmore, Landmark Senior Living
In this article, Joe Gilmore touches on a very sensitive subject: Approaching aging loved ones with the idea that it may be time to plan for the day that they might need to exchange some level of independence for extra help in taking care of themselves. It’s especially tricky to suggest that it might be time to change living situations, such as moving into assisted living or even enlisting the help of a caregiver.
Gilmore provides excellent tips for handling this all-important first conversation, usually between adult children and there parents, and often after one parent has passed away. The surviving parent may cling to a home that he or she can no longer manage or maintain, because of an emotional attachment to the past.
Tips for the Talk
• Decide how you are going to do it and who’s going to be there. Sometimes a one-on-one talk is best; however, if you need someone to back up your points or provide another point of view, it may be a good idea to get other family members involved.
• Go over which talking points you will speak on before approaching your loved one, and set up a time and place to talk.
• Express each idea as an opinion of yours rather than a need for them. For example, choosing phrases like “I think” or “I need” rather than “you should” or “you need” are good ways to avoid conflict.
• Remind your loved one that everyone is there because they care and want to help keep them safe.
• Stay calm. Don’t raise your voice, speak over your loved one, or encourage any hostility during this discussion, as it will only make the situation worse.
• If your loved one immediately dismisses the idea of leaving their home, it may be best to drop the issue for the moment and bring it back up at another time.
Read the entire article by Joe Gilmore here.
Sue Redding is especially qualified to help you plan transitions that you can discuss with loved ones when the time comes. For more information on this subject, contact Sue at: