As we begin to age, there comes a time when we simply cannot do certain things for ourselves anymore. Small initial concerns can become genuine worries for our loved ones’ safety. If you determine there’s a safety issue that cannot be ignored, approach the senior with a sense of planning to find a solution rather than trying to enforce any predetermined decisions.
Here are some further tips to pave the way for a more successful conversation about home care needs:
- Discuss what you have observed using concrete examples and ask her what she thinks is going on. Then ask what she thinks would be a good solution.
- Make suggestions rather than demands. If driving is a concern, suggest the avoidance of driving at night or when the roads are slick. If there is a medical concern, suggest an appointment with a physician “just to check it out to relieve my concerns, although it may be nothing.”
- If you have siblings, it may be helpful to involve them in the conversation. Be careful, however, not to give the feeling of “ganging up” on a parent or being overbearing. Talk when you and your loved one are at your best and try a new approach if the first one doesn’t work. If things start to break down or tempers flare, then try the discussion another time.
- If you have an open and direct relationship, just come out and tell him that you’d like to talk about these issues and ask if he would mind talking about them.
- Use conversation starters specific to your concerns to get the discussion started.
Remember to listen to your senior loved ones’ thoughts and concerns as well. It is their life, and feeling like they are losing control of it can be difficult. Once you are able to discuss your concerns, don’t pressure for an immediate decision. You may have been thinking about this for some time, but it is most likely a new idea to them. Let them absorb your ideas and return to the subject another time.
If you are unsure whether home care is appropriate for your situation, read more here, or contact Visiting Angels for a free in-home assessment. Our team is made up of exceptionally trained caregivers who are committed to making each senior’s transition easier. Contact us today at 510-284-0000 or 408-735-0977. We provide senior care services in Sunnyvale as well as throughout Santa Clara County and portions of Alameda County.