Important Tips for Talking to Elderly Parents About Care

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Talking to your parents about their care needs isn’t always an easy conversation. The important thing to remember is that everyone wants what’s best for your parents, even if they might disagree on how to achieve it.

When you do approach this difficult conversation, it’s important to keep some things in mind so you can have a productive discussion and make decisions that will benefit your parents.

Use Empathy

It’s natural that everyone involved in this decision is going to have a strong emotional connection to this discussion. After all, you’re talking about how to best care for someone you love dearly.

Respecting people’s feelings is an important part of the process. While you also need to be led by logic and facts, you can’t ignore the emotional element. If you can recognize other people’s emotional needs and accommodate them, then you will have a more productive conversation.

Your Parents Have to Be Involved

As we age, our ability to make decisions such as these can deteriorate, but that shouldn’t mean you cut your parents out of the discussion. The decisions you make will have a big impact on your parent’s lives, so they should be involved in the discussionto the extent that they can.

Sometimes, people might be too close to things to recognize they need help, and it takes family members to recognize this for them. However, the only way to implement these changes and take positive action is through good dialogue that involves everyone.

Start the Conversation Early

It might not be something everyone wants to talk about, but discussing your parent’s care preferences before they need them is a great idea.

This allows you to get a good idea of exactly what they might like while they’re still in a position to make an informed decision. For example, if your parents have seen a retirement home they like, such as The Woodlands senior living, then it makes that decision much easier.

Respect All Stakeholders

Decisions about your parents’ care can be difficult because there are lots of highly invested “stakeholders.” Not only do you have yourself, but there are also your parents, siblings, and other close family members and friends. Each of these people have strong emotional connections to the subject, and each will have their own ideas on the best course of action.

To make a good decision, you’ve got to take into consideration the people this decision affects, however, don’t lose sight of the fact that your parents will always be the most important people.

Keep an Eye on Things

The right decision today might not be the right decision for a year from now. Things move quickly, and your parent’s needs will change over time.

Whatever decision you do come to, it’s important you bear in mind that circumstances will change, and it’s something you have to keep re-evaluating. If you’re following these steps, you should be able to develop a good plan, but it’s something you need to keep your eye on.