Talking to parents about senior care can be a difficult prospect. The natural order of life is that parents take care of the children, but when adults reach a certain age and are unable to take care of themselves in the same manner used to, putting themselves and possibly others at risk, it may be time for the children to intervene and to become the caregivers.
Taking that first step in communicating senior care to a parent or both parents is often a difficult and confusing time for most adult children. You may need a plan before initially bringing up the subject.
Discuss the options siblings, if you have them. If you are an only child, you won’t be able to talk with a brother or sister about the issue of senior care for your parents, but you most likely have either friends of your parents or other relatives to discuss the matter with. Getting an outside perspective can help you determine the best course of action on how to communicate the need for senior care to your parents.
Gather all necessary information about the different senior care options that are available. You could be looking at assisted-living, nursing home care, or in-home care as possible options for senior care for your parents. You may be considering taking care of them yourself for a while and that can be fine as long as their needs are not extreme. When you have enough information about all of the various options available, it can make the initial discussion less stressful.
Be ready to answer questions and accept resistance. Your parent or parents will likely be resistant to the idea at first, unless they already understand that they need help on a regular basis. Your mother or father or both may also have a number of questions about senior care. While you don’t have to have all the answers, the more you know and understand about the process and the various options available, the better able you will be answer those questions.
Start slow. Bring up the subject in small sound bites, rather than in a large-scale assault. You can mention an issue that you noticed that would require assistance for them. This would plant the seed they might need help on a long-term, or even his short-term basis.
The last thing you want to do when bringing up the topic of senior care to a parent or loved one is doing it when you are upset, worried, anxious, or even angry. The conversation should be a positive one, so make sure you develop the right strategy, and practice how you’re going to say the things you need to say.