Opening Up the Lines of Communication About Senior Living
Family dynamics are unique and they can shift over time. If you’ve noticed that a parent or other loved one may be experiencing challenges living at home safely, it can be difficult to find the words to start a conversation about senior care. Especially for adult children of aging parents, feeling comfortable in having this discussion is rough as you may feel like you’re pushing boundaries. Even for people who normally have open lines of communication about most topics, this talk can leave you feeling like you’re walking on eggshells. We have ways to simplify this scenario and put everyone involved at ease.
Realize that this is an ongoing discussion, not a one-off chat. Even when the talk starts, there won’t be a resolution. Instead, approach this conversation as the beginning. A successful starting point would be to open the door to exploring your loved one’s preferences and concerns. If you’re not in a situation where a loved one needs immediate care, which can happen after someone is discharged from the hospital or after a change in health necessitates it, it is a great strategy to start the dialogue early, before the need for care is urgent.
Talking before the need for senior care is pressing is an effective plan. If a loved one hasn’t considered senior care, this will help introduce the idea and you can learn thoughts. Easing into the idea of a change can be ideal, as it offers families the chance to discuss it openly. Your loved one will also feel empowered, with options for them to consider and putting them in the driver’s seat.
Invite other family members to be part of the conversation. If there are siblings or other close family members who could help facilitate the discussion about senior care and move the conversation forward, it would be helpful to fill them in prior to sitting down and ask them to participate. Just be careful not to overwhelm your loved one and be aware of not making them feel outnumbered. If you feel that your loved one would be more likely to be open to hearing about senior care from another family member, it is fine to have them lead the talk.
Keep the tone conversational and interactive. A formal meeting can feel overwhelming and make the messaging of the discussion difficult to hear. By holding it in a casual, comfortable setting, it will be a give-and-take rapport rather than a lecture. This approach successfully minimizes tension and will keep the conversation flowing.
Remember to have empathy. Change is difficult for anyone, but especially someone who is now considering leaving a place full of family memories where they may have spent many years. By putting yourself in the place of your loved one, you can have a more productive talk as you’ll understand their concerns. Encourage them to give a voice to their fears and their hopes for the future. Listen actively to what they say. Change can be exciting and by considering the many options that senior communities offer, your loved one may surprise you by looking forward to turning a new page.
Speak to a CarePatrol Senior Care Advisor as a family. With over 30 years of experience in matching loved ones with the right senior care options including Assisted Living, Independent Living, Nursing Homes, Memory Care and in-home care options, we can provide insights to help your family make an informed decision. We’ve vetted the 20,000 communities that we recommend, giving your family peace of mind. We ask the right questions to find effective matches. CarePatrol is with you every step of the way, arranging for tours and accompanying your family on these community visits. We even help make move-in day a less stressful time for everyone. You never need to worry if you can afford to work with CarePatrol as our services are at no cost to the families who we serve.