How to Handle Difficult Conversations with Your Senior Parent

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Tips to Handle Difficult Conversations with Your Senior Parent in SARASOTA, FL

Whether it’s conversations about housing options, finances, or medical directives, there are many topics adult children need to discuss with their elderly family members. Open communication is the best way to ensure your aging loved one enjoys the best quality of life for the longest time. Talking about sensitive subjects isn’t always easy, especially if your loved one is living with memory loss or dementia, but the following tips can get the conversation rolling. 

Set Realistic Expectations 

A single conversation isn’t likely to address and resolve every concern, so rather than starting the discussion with a laundry list of issues, focus on opening up the lines of communication. Expressing just how much your loved one means to you is a great way to begin. Reassure your family member that your goal is to honor his or her wishes regarding future plans. Some seniors may initially be afraid that someone is trying to take over, or they may become concerned that their independence is quickly dwindling. The initial conversation is a time to reassure your parent and talk about his or her needs. 

Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of respite care Sarasota seniors can depend on.

Talk about Money 

Many older adults were raised to avoid the subject of money, so talking about finances can make them feel uncomfortable. Sharing information about your own finances can break the ice. Ask for advice about writing a will, getting life insurance, or putting aside money for retirement. Once the conversation gets going, your parent may open up to you about his or her current financial situation and be willing to let you help. Ask your loved one to share a list of important passwords and documents so you can access them in case of emergency. 

Remind your loved one he or she isn’t alone. Many older adults are choosing to age in place, and some need a helping hand to continue living at home safely and comfortably. Luckily, there is professional elder care seniors can trust and rely on.

Prepare an Advance Directive 

Discussing legal and medical options with your loved one can be challenging, but emphasizing you want to make sure your parent’s wishes are fulfilled can open up the discussion. Stress the importance of establishing a living will, power of attorney, and health care proxy or agent. Keep reminding your loved one that you want to ensure he or she remains healthy, happy, and financially secure for many years to come. And while you’re on the topic of care, don’t forget to bring up the important subject of care in the later years. This might be a good time to discuss all the options, including hourly and live-in care, if your parent doesn’t have in-home care already. 

Your parent may be reassured about receiving help if he or she speaks personally with staff from a trustworthy home care provider. The type of in-home care Sarasota, FL, seniors need can vary. Some need assistance a few hours a day, while others require more extensive around-the-clock assistance. At Home Care Assistance, we tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual care needs, and the plans can be adjusted at any time. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (941) 702-5525 to schedule a free in-home consultation.

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