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:
If you are the child or caregiver, your concerns are likely:
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.
Consider starting the conversation with open-ended questions about the value of a simplified life and the health and safety benefits of assisted living.
“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.
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.