Starting the Conversation: Discussing Future Practicalities with your Loved One

Starting the Conversation: Discussing Future Practicalities with your Loved One

We all want our elderly loved ones to live enriched and full lives as they age. We also want peace of mind knowing our loved ones are safe, healthy, and comfortable wherever home may be.

Having a plan in place to organize changes in care once they are needed can avoid an “urgent situation” that many clients face as accidental falls, or trips to the hospital happen.

The first, and sometimes most difficult step, to creating a playbook is initiating conversation with your senior loved one. The ideal time to start the conversation is before they show signs of needing extra help. Discussion tends to flow more freely, because participants view it as hypothetical and are less likely to feel criticized. During “What if?” conversations, calm minds prevail. Approach the subject in a way that feels genuine and natural to you. Have an “ice-breaking” phrase prepared that gets your loved one engaged. Below are a few ideas on how to start the talk.

“Mom, can we spend five minutes jotting down ideas about getting someone else to do some work in the house? I made us some tea.”

“Mom and Dad, we wanted your input on a few things.”

“Can I get your opinion on a couple of things, Mom?”

“Hi, Dad. Can we talk for a sec? Here’s your coffee.”

Interested in learning more? The Homewatch CareGivers Let’s Talk Guide is filled with coping tips to steer you through, and suggestions on simplifying and clarifying the issues at hand.

More Posts Like This
  • Could You Be Caring Wrong?

    Caregiving can be wonderful, but also too much when it makes someone helpless and bored. Dementia care expert and author G. Allen Power, MD, talks about how to care just the right amount in this new video.

    Read More
  • How Do I Bathe My Mom?

    Bathing or showering a loved one who can’t or won’t perform this daily function is probably one of the most commonly asked questions in caregiving. We break down the possible reasons this might be happening and how to solve the problem.

    Read More
  • Our Experts Answer Your Questions About Dementia Care

    If you've ever wished you could ask an expert about caring for a loved one with dementia, we might have the answers right here. A nurse and geriatrician took questions from family caregivers and we share their top responses.

    Read More