It isn’t easy noticing that your parent is growing older. Your memories of them as a younger person will likely contradict what you see now, making it hard to accept the effects of time and age. If your parent is starting to lose their full abilities when it comes to taking care of themselves, it may be time to start considering ways of providing them with better care. Here’s how to approach this topic and discuss it with them openly.
Prepare Your Reasons
Before you even begin to think about starting the discussion, you will need to prepare your reasons for bringing it up. Mentioning to someone that they may no longer be fully capable can be embarrassing, frightening, or hurtful, so make sure you are tactful when presenting your argument. Have you noticed that your parent is losing their memory? Have they stopped cooking meals for themselves? Having valid reasons will strengthen the conversation. Don’t assume, however, that they will react a certain way. People can always surprise you.
Consider the Various Options
Think about possible options for providing your parent with adequate care. Do you want them to move in with you and your family? Do you think they should consider moving to a senior living community? Think about what your parent will care most about in a change of lifestyle. For example, residents at Brightview Senior Living say that one of the biggest factors in choosing an assisted living facility is the overall community feel and connection to other residents. If this sounds like something that would suit your parent, make sure to highlight these points.
Choose a Suitable Time
When you think you are ready to discuss care options with your parent, find a suitable time and place where you are both able to relax and talk without feeling rushed or distracted. Don’t ambush your parent by bringing the topic up in front of other people, as this could cause embarrassment and anger. If you believe that the suggestion may be more persuasive coming from another relative, ask if they would be willing to sit down with your parent to talk about it.
Listen to Their Thoughts
When you talk about the reasons and choices regarding future care for your elderly parent, you must listen to their thoughts and treat them with respect. Their opinion on the matter is valuable and shouldn’t be outright dismissed. You may think you have their best interests at heart, but you must acknowledge their opinions. If you disagree, find a way to compromise.
Return at a Later Date
If you find that the discussion is not going as productively as you had hoped, there’s nothing wrong with postponing it for another time when your parent has had space to consider everything you’ve talked about. Rushing these matters is rarely advised, so take your time and, if possible, let your parent come to you with the next stage of the discussion. You may be surprised by their perspective after having time to think.