201 N Jessica Ave, Tucson

Table with Thanksgiving Dinner

Could The Holidays Be The Best Time For “The Talk?”

Whether you are a child, parent, or concerned caregiver, “the talk” about the need for elder care or assisted living is never easy. Yet it’s best for all involved to have a compassionate conversation before a health crisis that might result in costly and difficult decisions.

The holiday season with everyone together may be the best time to talk with compassion and openness.

If you are the senior, your concerns could include the following:

  • I don’t want to be a burden on my family.
  • I don’t want to sell the family home but must.
  • I don’t want to appear frail to my loved ones.
  • I can’t (or my family can’t) afford the care I need.
  • I am scared to broach this uncomfortable topic.

If you are the child or caregiver, your concerns are likely:

  • My loved one doesn’t understand the health and safety risks of staying at home.
  • I do not have the time and resources to care for my parent at home.
  • I am afraid my parent is going to have a serious accident while alone.
  • I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or be seen as disrespectful.
  • I am scared to broach this uncomfortable topic.

1. Accept that this vital conversation will be difficult

Of course, it will be natural for this conversation to be tough. Roleplay ahead of time. Anticipate the difficulties and pushbacks and how you will respond in a caring, informed manner.

Talk with other family members, a physician, a financial planner, or minister ahead of time to make sure you are on the same page in terms of desired positive outcomes. If the conversation gets confrontational, agree to discuss the topic at a later date.

2. Remember, this is a two-way conversation

Consider starting the conversation with open-ended questions about the value of a simplified life and the health and safety benefits of assisted living.

Examples include:

“How is keeping up with house maintenance going?”
“What will you do if there is an emergency at the house?”
“Do you ever feel isolated or lonely?”

This helps transition the conversation to a discussion about better living arrangements.

3 .Focus On Mutual Concerns

Agreeing that it’s time to pursue elder care or assisted living often comes down to the recognition that the discussion is not just about health and safety concerns.

Getting the care that’s required will bring peace of mind to all concerned. And knowing that life will be less complicated and more socially engaging and enjoyable helps make the decision for you or a loved one that much easier.

While this is not an exhaustive list, we hope some of these thoughts are valuable to you in planning for this vital conversation. In the best of all worlds, this conversation will result in the best quality of life for you or a loved one.

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