We all love reminiscing about holidays or family vacations – times when everyone was together and happy and healthy. But when it’s time to have the “tough talks”, like the possibility that an elderly parent might need to consider a different living arrangement or giving up the car keys, the conversation can stall or even become defensive.
At Home Matters, we understand the sensitive nature of discussing aging care issues with older loved ones, and we’ve compiled some tips to help your talks run more smoothly. When a difficult family conversation needs to take place, these tips can help ensure a more successful outcome, and less hurt feelings:
- Ensure your concerns are valid. Observe for yourself whether an elderly loved one truly is struggling in a particular area, rather than relying on hearsay.
- Maintain a tone of caring support. Confrontational negativity will reap a far different result than an approach laced with love and concern.
- Use reflective listening techniques. Rephrasing what you’ve heard a loved one say confirms that you were listening and validates his or her feelings.
- Allow a dialogue. Rather than just stating your concerns, invite the senior to share his or her input and observations, and incorporate his or her desires, provided they do not compromise safety.
- Discuss the advantages of in-home care vs. assisted living. Discussing your loved one’s care options and the advantages and disadvantages of each can help them realize the benefits of home care.
- Include others. A particular friend, family or clergy member can help mediate the discussion and provide a more trusted perspective in the eyes of your loved one.
Learn more family conversation strategies, courtesy of AARP.
Need some back-up when it comes to discussing in-home care with a reluctant loved one? The Scottsdale senior care experts at Home Matters can help! Contact us to set up a free in-home assessment where we can help you communicate all the benefits of in-home care to your loved one and help get everyone on the same page.