Making Tough Conversations with Aging Parents Easier
Taking care of your aging parents can be challenging. For so many years, they took care of you and protected you, and now the tables are turned, and you’re doing the same for them. But it can be hard to ask them to give up their car keys, change their financial habits, move into assisted living, or accept help from an in-home caregiver. Many seniors want to maintain their independence and may feel that you are trying to take that away, even if you’re just looking out for their best interests.
When it comes to having difficult conversation with your aging parents:
Be patient. Realize that it can take time to get them on board and to get all of the right services in place. Change can be hard to accept, so give them a chance to think things over and figure out how they will adjust. Make changes slowly to ease transitions, and take their input into consideration.
Start early. It’s best to start talking to your parents about senior care before they need it. Bring up discussions as naturally as possible while they are in a good mood and good health. This can allow you to get important paperwork in place such as a living will, advanced directives, power of attorney, financial management, etc. Find out how they want things to be handled should they become unable to make decisions for themselves. Talking about things a little bit at a time can ease stress.
Have a plan. Do your research and know what services or resources are available. If you’re taking away their car keys, what are you doing to address their transportation needs? If you think they’re unsafe at home, what protections can you put in place? Look into different options including accommodations for aging in place, in-home caregivers, or assisted living facilities. Keep an open mind and work with your aging parent to decide what is best for them and what they would feel most comfortable with.
Ask for input. Listen to your senior’s concerns and try to answer any questions they may have as honestly as possible. Share your concerns as well so they have a better understanding of why you want to make changes or get them additional support. Involve them in decision making so they don’t feel as though you’re taking away their control or independence.
Seek help. You don’t have to handle tough conversations all on your own. Ask siblings or other family members to get involved too. Together you may be able to make a more compelling argument and gain buy-in from your aging parent. Plus, you’ll have others to back you up and help you work through decisions. You can also talk to a senior care provider to see if they have additional tips or insight. They work with seniors every day and strive to keep them safer, happier, and healthier.
Always Best Care works with you to determine the right level of care and support for your aging parent. In-home caregivers in Plymouth Meeting PA are available a few hours per week, or a few hours per day, depending on your senior’s needs, and they can assist with a wide range of activities to support aging in place. Take things one step at a time and contact Always Best Care today to schedule a free consultation.