How to… Start the care conversation
We know that many of you might not have seen your elderly loved ones in person for many months. But whether you’re face-to-face or speaking on the telephone, that initial conversation about considering care options might be a tough one. And it certainly won’t be the last; but if you approach it in the right way in the first place, hopefully it will be something you can resolve together. So, take a deep breath, set aside plenty of time, and use these tips to begin a conversation about potential caring choices.
- Create a list of your concerns for your ageing parent or relative. For example, are you worried that their home is no longer a safe environment for them? Or that the mistakes they keep making with their medication will have a dangerous outcome next time around? Write down all your concerns.
- Educate yourself. As you learn more about senior care options, you’ll get ideas about what might be the best fit for your loved one. Admitting just how much help they might need isn’t easy, and you may find yourself downplaying just how serious their situation really is but be as objective as you can.
- Learn how important environment is for the elderly. Where we live influences how well we live as we grow older – meaning location and environment have an effect on everything: from physical safety to mental health and longevity. The more you learn about this, the better you’ll be able to weigh up all the care options before choosing the right one.
- Exploring all options and learning more about successful ageing will give you the confidence and credibility you need to begin the conversation. But exploring and learning doesn’t mean you’re making decisions without the consent of your parent or ageing family member. Instead, you’re preparing yourself to be as helpful as possible for the conversation and decisions ahead.
- Talk in person. This isn’t a conversation to have by telephone if you can avoid it. Instead, pick a day when you and your parent are well-rested and relaxed. Block out a time and a location where you can talk without interruption.
- Empathy, not sympathy. No older adult wants their child to feel sorry for them. But empathy is another matter. Your kind, calm voice and demeanour will show you care — and that you’re trying to understand the fears and frustrations they may feel. The idea of accepting in-home care or moving to a senior living community is tough. You begin to help as soon as you really begin to listen.
- Don’t rush. Once you’re armed with knowledge, you may feel ready to make a decision. But your parent may need more time. Allow them the time they need to find the words that express how they’re feeling. Coming to an unpressured mutual agreement now will continue to pay dividends as you move forward together.
- Plan to talk again. And again. As much as you might want to wrap things up in one conversation, the reality is this will likely be a series of talks. Unless your aging family member is in eminent danger, that’s okay. It’s a process … not a once-and-done discussion.
Questions to get the conversation going:
- How is it living at home alone?
- Do you still feel safe? (You may want to mention specific safety concerns such as managing medication, falling on stairs, struggles in the bathtub or kitchen. Crime may be another fear they haven’t shared with you.)
- Do you feel lonely sometimes?
- Would you like to spend more time with people your own age?
- How do you feel about driving?
- Would you be interested in other options for transportation, so you don’t have to worry about getting where you need to go, car maintenance costs, traffic, parking, etc.?
- Is it ever hard to manage your finances and keep up with paying your bills?
- Ever wonder about getting a helping hand with housekeeping and laundry?
- Would you feel less stress if you didn’t have to worry about the house?
We’re here to help. To find out more about Nobilis Care speak with one of our knowledgeable advisers, who will be able to explain how our in-home care can be transformative. Call 03333 444880 or email email@example.com