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Helpful Tips for Having “The Talk” with Your Older Relatives | Generations Home Care
    Treat every contact as a friend, every client as family, and every task as an honor

    When it comes to having a Talk with a capital T, discussing your loved one’s options when they struggle to take care of themselves can be one of the most challenging. It’s a difficult situation in general; often, we feel a mixture of emotions when we watch our parents progress through aging, from anxiety to sadness and even frustration. 

    Your parents may be reluctant (or outright resistant) to the idea of leaving their home. In fact, the vast majority of seniors would prefer to stay in their homes as they age—but struggling with daily tasks can seriously impact their quality of life. 

    But what many people don’t realize is you have options. From family caregiving to assisted living, there’s a spectrum of elder care for every need. When the time comes to discuss those options, here’s how to have The Talk.

    How to Know When It’s Time to Talk

    If your parent is getting older, you might wonder how you can know when you should start the discussion about aging care. There’s a simple answer: the best time to have the talk is long before it becomes necessary. Start thinking about broaching the subject as soon as possible while your parent is still independent, and the idea of needing help with daily tasks still feels far in the future. You should start asking your parent about how they want to spend their later years, and if they wish to age in their home or would prefer to move to an assisted living center or other facility care. By establishing those preferences before they become necessary, you can make the discussion far easier to broach when the time comes to actively discuss the next steps for your loved one’s care.

    You’ll notice a few advanced signs that it’s time to have that conversation. 

    Your parent isn’t dressed or groomed as they usually are. One sign that your parent might need help with daily tasks is that they’re struggling to care for themselves to their usual standards. They may find it difficult to get in and out of the bath unassisted or find it hard to do up small buttons on clothes. 

    Your parent complains of aches, pains, or emotional difficulties. Many people try not to talk about the things that bother them. Men are especially prone to keeping quiet about medical and emotional issues that may cause serious harm. So if your parent is openly talking about the problems they’re facing in daily life, it’s wise to listen. 

    Your parent isn’t eating well. Many older people can lose interest in cooking and eating. Sometimes this results from the gradual loss of taste sensitivity that most people experience as they age. Other times, it may be because the hassle of cooking and cleaning up afterward is just too much work. 

    Your parent isn’t happy. Maintaining a person’s quality of life is one of the most crucial aspects of aging in place. With older adults living alone, it can also be one of the most challenging. But if your parent isn’t getting enough social contact, can’t find transportation to the things they want to do, or can’t pursue their hobbies, then that’s a sure sign that they could use a helping hand. 

    The Talk About Your Loved One’s Care

    Once you’ve decided to talk to your loved one about getting them additional care as they age, navigating that conversation is an entirely different challenge. 

    Prepare in Advance

    Before you sit down with your older loved one to talk about their care, it pays to do a little research in advance. Consider looking up the options in your area that might be a good fit for your loved one’s care. Also, spend a little time thinking about how you want to approach the conversation—maybe even take a few notes. You can likely anticipate how your loved one will react to this conversation and plan on how to make it a productive and calm dialogue.

    Start From a Place of Concern

    Approaching the discussion the right way is crucial. Your loved one may get defensive about their ability to live independently, and you don’t want to turn things into an argument. When you emphasize your feelings of concern for their well-being, you can center the talk on how you want to ensure they’re living their life to the fullest. 

    Focus on the Positives

    Many people see the need for additional aging care as a negative, even frightening prospect. They may associate it with a loss of independence, and deny they need extra care because they don’t want to acknowledge their aging. However, the truth is that getting the right care can be a very positive experience. It can make a huge difference in your loved one’s quality of life and help them stay in touch with the things that make life meaningful.

    Foster Conversation

    Remember, you’re having a talk—not a lecture. It’s important to leave room in the conversation for your loved one to ask questions, express concerns, and tell you what they want for their care. 

    Get Help With Your Discussion

    We know that talking to your parent about aging care can be a fraught experience. Often, it can be easier to have the Talk with a knowledgeable third party at your side. Our caregivers have years of experience in navigating this important discussion and can answer any questions that you and your loved one might have about the benefits of in-home care. When it comes to focusing on the positives, hearing first hand about all the help a caregiver can offer can change your loved one’s perspective on in-home care. When you and your loved one can meet with a caregiver firsthand and learn all about what they can offer your loved one may soon start to wonder how they ever managed without them.

    About Generations Home Care

    Generations Home Care personalized in-home care and support services help those recovering from illness, injury, or surgery, living with a chronic disease, or dealing with the natural process of aging. We help people live a fuller, healthier, and independent life.

    Our caregivers are trained in the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended COVID-19 safety precautions. We offer levels of care ranging from companionship, to respite for the primary family caregiver, to homemaking services, to assistance with activities of daily living, to Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Generations Home Care takes a holistic approach and emphasizes a consistent, client-centered plan of care.

    Our Specialty Services Include:

    • Rehab or hospital-to-home programs for safe discharge.
    • Short-term post-operative care during recovery periods.
    • Non-medical life management services for people with chronic conditions.
    • Veteran’s connection to care program.
    • Live-in services and couples care.

    If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you, contact us today at 602-595-HOME (4663) or by filling out the contact form on our website.


    About the author - Generations Home Care

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