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Talking to our Seniors about Elder Care

Blog January 15th, 2015
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There’s a lot of weight put on adult children when talking to their seniors about elder care. For some reason, talking about long-term housing plans with their parents seems like they’re overstepping their boundaries.

People treat “the talk” about elder care much like they do an intervention. They expect stark – or even outrageous – opposition. They expect their loved ones to feel anger, frustration, and betrayal.

In many situations, the adult children give up before they’ve even begun. They visualize the conversation:

“You think I’m not capable of taking care of myself?!”

“Of course you would want to stick me in a home!”

“How dare you treat me like the child!”

All of this stems from one thing: we fear they’ll take it the wrong way. But when you genuinely care about their wellbeing, there’s no reason to fear a “wrong way” – you’re doing it the right way. And that’s all the more reason why it’s important to have this conversation before you ever need to; preplanning is key.

If your loved one has difficulty managing their medication, their bills, getting around the house, driving, or is having bouts of memory loss, then it is time for elder care and senior housing. When that happens, you move from preemptive planning to frantically racing to find a solution.

The best time to have “the talk” is before there is ever a need or immediate crisis.

It’s never going to be an inappropriate time to bring up elder care because it is vital for your loved one to live out their golden years.

Preplan Senior Lifestyle Transitions

Preplanning is one of the ways you can ensure successful senior lifestyle transitions. First of all, your parents will be extremely grateful if you bring it up first. Chances are your elders are already noticing what is becoming increasingly hard to do around the house, but they don’t want to burden you with their problems. When you bring it up, it’s not a gateway to conflict, but an invitation to resolution and that’s one of the greatest gifts we can share with our parents.

Our parents seldom forget that they are “parents,” no matter how old we get. As a result, they have a tendency to focus on our lives and don’t want to tell us that it’s more difficult for them to do the same tasks they once had such ease with. When you talk to them early on about senior living plans, then everyone exhibits clearer communication about wants and needs.

In addition, there are plenty of ways to bring it up. For instance, if you have observed your loved one in a short-term senior care facility and they were particularly comfortable in the nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or hospital setting, then that’s a fairly good indicator that they’re ready to make a lifestyle transition.

Bringing it up early is also helpful because more options are available to you and your loved ones. For instance, many people neglect the benefits of senior respite care. Many of which come in the form of a vacation getaway specifically designed for caregivers of seniors, usually an adult child.

Elder Care Home

It’s like a hotel stay where seniors get a studio apartment, three meals a day, and a barrage of social activities. Plus, your loved one has all the benefits they would receive in an elder care home including assistance with dressing, bathing, medication management, and then some! And FYI, respite care is a lot cheaper than a hotel stay.

There’s a good chance, your loved one won’t even want to leave.

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