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.”
The most important step is the first one and starting the dialogue that can benefit both of you in the long run.