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Discussing Difficult Topics with Your Senior Loved One

By Beth Brown, 9:00 am on

As your elderly loved one ages, the need for conversations with subjects such as decreased physical or mental health or the possibility of home care may arise. Approaching sensitive subject matter carefully can help maintain a stable relationship and keep the lines of communication open. Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Palm Beach senior home care, suggests these tips for discussing difficult topics with your senior loved one.

Plan Ahead

Take time to gather relevant information regarding the subject you want to discuss. You should also choose your time and place strategically. You never want to have an important conversation at a time when you or your loved one may become emotionally or physically exhausted or at a place that lacks any privacy.

Be Realistic

You shouldn’t expect everything to be resolved in one conversation. Sometimes you have to plant the seed and revisit the topic later. You should also be realistic in what you promise your loved one. Guaranteeing you will never do something is often a recipe for disappointment since you cannot anticipate what the future may hold. This can leave your loved one feeling betrayed and you feeling guilty.

Listen

A conversation requires two people. Express your concerns, but also take time to listen and be respectful of your loved one’s needs. You should try to anticipate any questions ahead of time, so you will be prepared to respond and reassure your loved one thatyou want to take his or her wishes into consideration.

Don’t Threaten

No one likes an ultimatum. If your loved one becomes obstinate, try to resist the urge to threaten or coerce him or her into compliance. In many cases, your loved one may just need some time to adjust to your idea. Instead of arguing and escalating the situation, try to bring it up again at a later time. You may even try having another family member make a similar suggestion. Hearing the same information from another source may make your loved one more accepting of the idea.

Practice Honesty

Being deceitful is the fastest way to break down any trust you may have with your loved one. Honesty shows you respect his or her rights, thoughts, and feelings. In your discussions together, make sure your honesty is balanced with respect.

Communication is key to maintaining a healthy relationship with your loved one. After conversing about sensitive issues, you may discover he or she requires care you are not always able to provide. Consider an in-home caregiver from Home Care Assistance. We offer part-time and 24/7 care in Palm Beach, and our caregivers can help with a wide variety of daily tasks ranging from cooking and cleaning to transportation and medication reminders. For more information, call one of our Care Managers today at 561.429.8292 to schedule a free in-home consultation.