Talking to your elderly family member about what she wants from the future, what she expects, and how you can help her is incredibly important but it can feel almost impossible. Starting that conversation is the hardest part. Once you have opened those lines of communication, it’s going to be much easier to make sure you’re covering all of your bases.
Look for the Right Time and Place
There are definitely right and wrong times and places to talk about your senior’s situation both now and to come. If you choose the wrong time and place, your senior may respond in a way that you find off-putting. That may not be the case if you find a different time to broach the topic. Look for ways that you can gently bring up the topic when it feels right and appropriate.
Listen to What Your Senior Is Saying
When you do have your elderly family member opening up to you, make sure that you’re listening to what she’s saying. Trust that she’s giving you information that you can use to make the best decisions possible for her. If she does share with you specific needs or wants, like aging in place for as long as possible, help her to formulate a plan to achieve that goal.
Start putting supports in place now, rather than waiting. You can start working with elderly care services now, for instance, to help you to assess your senior’s needs and to resolve issues she may already be having. They can help with a variety of concerns Work with your elderly family member to determine who else in her life can offer her help and support, in addition to you and to other resources that you’re able to provide.
Don’t Give Up
Above all, don’t give up on these talks. If your elderly family member is upset about this conversation and doesn’t feel comfortable talking about how she feels just yet, revisit it all later. Let her know that your main concern is her and her well-being and that you’re not going to drop this conversation because you really can’t.
It’s very important that you and your senior do have this conversation, even when it’s awkward. This is going to help you to be the best caregiver that you can be for her and it’s going to help you to understand her needs, both now and in the future.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE IS CONSIDERING ELDERLY CARE IN WILSON, NC, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT SENIORS HELPING SENIORS TODAY. CALL (919) 761-5346.