When it’s Time to Have “The Talk” with Your Aging Parent
Sensitive life topics often make conversations difficult for families. Just as you can’t imagine needing a caregiver, your parent can’t imagine needing help with everyday life. The earlier you can have conversations with parents about aging, the easier it will be for both of you to accept help when the time is right. If you’re in your 40’s, chances are you have a parent that is still active and able to make life decisions. It’s also the best time to start talking about their future well-being.
This conversation won’t be easy for either of you and there will likely be resistance. Approaching the subject with patience and tact will be key. Here are a few tips to guide the discussion:
Ask Questions: If you’ve observed something that’s troubling you, ask about it. Allow them to open up about what they think may be causing the issue. It’s important to speak with them as you would anyone else. Don’t communicate in a disrespectful manner or try to parent them. This only creates tension and could end the conversation immediately.
Focus on Independence: Whenever you discuss assisted care, always start with a solution that provides your parent with as much independence as possible. Professional in home care services, such as those offered by Home Helpers, provide assistance with transportation to medical appointments, medication reminders, meal preparation, and light housekeeping. This type of assistance is much more accepting and will enable your loved one to continue to live their life independently.
Talk with a Medical Professional: Try discussing the situation with your parent’s primary care physician in advance. If they share your concern, they are likely to help support you by helping with the discussion.
Test it Out: In home care providers like Home Helpers allow you to hire their professional caregivers on an as-needed basis. This will give you the opportunity to show your parent that having a caregiver is not something to fear and often leads to them being open to receiving ongoing care.
Delivery and timing is important with this type of conversation. Think about what you’re going to say before you say it. Your mom would likely be receptive to a conversation that begins: “Let’s figure out how you can get around town if you’re having a hard time driving.”
Even though we mention taking talking to your parent when you’re in your 40’s, the sooner you have this conversation, the better. The main objective is to be pro-active and open the lines of communication before a crisis happens. If you feel your loved one could benefit from the services provided by Home Helpers, contact us today for a FREE in-home care assessment.