Talking with your loved one about elderly care options can be a challenge. While it may be a difficult discussion, it’s an extremely important one. Having this talk can help you plan for the future and respect your loved ones wishes about their care if there ever comes a time when they’re no longer able to stay their home safely. Here are four tips for starting the discussion about elderly care with your loved one.
Have the Conversation Early
If possible, it is a good idea to start the conversation early. While it may be a sensitive subject, approaching the topic when there is no urgency to make a decision about care can make it easier to discuss. Even if your family member is not having any health issues, if you will be charged with making decisions about their care in the future, it makes sense to be proactive. Just be sure to approach the discussion in a respectful way, explain your perspective, and listen to their feelings about it. This will help to set a positive tone for your conversation.
Put Yourself in their Shoes
As you are thinking about how to approach the discussion, it’s important to put yourself in your family member’s shoes. Chances are a sensitive conversation like this will probably bring up a range of different emotions. It will also make your loved one feel quite vulnerable. Consider their personality and how they might react to different approaches before you decide to have the conversation. Should you approach the discussion from a place of sensitivity, or do you think your loved one would prefer a more direct, candid talk? Considering how your family member prefers to communicate can help you decide the best way to talk with them about elderly care.
It’s a good idea to do your research before you talk with your family member about care options. Take a look at the elderly care continuum and learn more about the options available to you locally. For example, are there home health care programs available? What are the options for assisted living? What types of amenities and features do these facilities have to offer? Are there more comprehensive care options available nearby as well? Learning more about the types of elderly care options that could be available for your loved one in the future will help you feel more prepared and informed for your discussion.
An important part of your discussion with your family member should be the financial aspects of elderly care. Mapping out a plan for covering costs ahead of time can help you avoid any financial surprises down the line.
It’s important to discuss elderly care options with your loved ones. If possible, consider starting the conversation early, put yourself in their shoes before you have your talk, arm yourself with knowledge about local elderly care resources, and discuss finances ahead of time. This conversation may be a difficult one to have, but it will help you make informed decisions about your loved one’s care as they age.