As we get older, we face having one of the most difficult conversations ever with our parents: the elder care and end-of-life conversation.
As much as we don’t want to have this conversation, it’s vital we have it as soon as possible.
Today, we’ll discuss why it’s so important to talk about senior home care and other elder care options, and why we should avoid putting it off.
Why It’s So Important to Talk to Your Parents About Senior Home Care
One of the top concerns of any adult is eventually losing their independence. And when a conversation about home care assistance comes up, you may very well experience resistance at first.
Let your parents know right from the start you want them to remain as independent for as long as possible. And two of the best ways to do this is with senior home care and elderly day care.
Tell them about all the benefits of getting in-home care and spending time at an adult day center. Give them as much information as possible and they’re more likely to get on board.
In addition to talking about home care assistance, you’ll want to discuss some other topics, like what to do about pets or their home once they can’t take care of them. It’s also best to take this opportunity to talk about topics pertaining to DNR and funeral arrangements. The sooner you find out what your parents want – the better.
Why It’s Vital You Don’t Put This Conversation Off
This conversation will only get more difficult as time goes on. And we’re not just talking about emotional difficulty.
As people age, there’s the chance they could start to develop symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Having a conversation about senior home care or end-of-life decisions can be hard because your parent might not understand what you’re talking about. Or, even worse, they could start to suspect you of trying to do something they don’t want or trying to take advantage of them.
It will be so much easier if you have this conversation sooner rather than later. It would also be a good idea to get things in writing. Any agreements you and your parents make will be easier to put into practice if there’s proof you’ve talked to them already and they’ve agreed to certain things, like what to do with their home or what type of care they need.
Tips for Addressing the Needs and Concerns You and Your Parents Have
If you put yourself in your parents’ shoes, it’s not difficult to see why they wouldn’t want to have these conversations, none of us want to face our mortality.
This is why it’s so important to approach the conversation in a way which is tactful and addresses their needs and concerns, as well as your own.
Here are a few tips.
- Ask Them About Their Concerns: This is their life. Find out what their concerns and wishes are before voicing your own. Doing so will set your parents’ minds at ease they still have a say in what happens.
- Listen Before You Speak: During this time, it’s so important to be patient and just listen. Really hear what your parents are trying to say. Only then will you be able to fully address their concerns.
- Listen with Empathy: Again, put yourself in your parents’ shoes. While they’re talking, listen closely and assure them you want what’s best for them and you want to respect their wishes.
- Address Topics One-by-One: This isn’t a five minute conversation. It’s going to take some time. You have to address their health, power of attorney, home care assistance, what’s going to happen to their home, and much more. Take it one at a time, and pick it up another day if necessary.
Talking to Your Parents Now will Make Decision-Making Easier in the Days to Come
Besides our love, there’s no greater gift we can give to any adult – including our parents – than the gift of respect.
Making decisions about how to care for our parents in their elder years is never going to be easy. But we can take a little bit of the sting away by having these conversations with our parents right now.
In the moment, when we’re faced with making those decisions, it feels like no answer is the right answer. But if we have a plan set in place prior to moment, we can rest assured we’re doing what our parents wanted.
For more information on home care or adult day care options for seniors please contact Skylark Senior Care.