One of the many challenges that family members have when trying to discuss elder care with other loved ones is determining how much information is okay to share, and what, if anything, should be kept confidential. For example, an adult woman might be talking to her mother about some of the issues that she’s having while living at home, but does this mean that she should be talking about them with her own young daughter?
The question is an ethical as well as moral one, and sometimes it’s an important topic to consider. When we’re worried about our loved ones, we don’t tend to have the same filters in place as when we’re dealing with friends, coworkers, neighbors, or acquaintances.
So what happens when your daughter, or your son, begin to ask questions about their grandparent? If there are noticeable signs that the elderly individual is struggling with their own care, then this is not something that you’re going to be able to hide relatively easily. At the same token, what about the discussions that you’re having with your parent about elderly health care?
One of the most important things that you can do when it comes to elderly health care for a loved one is to make sure that you use discretion. This includes when you’re talking about what your mother or father needs when other family members, including children, are present. Even though your daughter is playing a game in the corner of the room, that doesn’t mean she’s not listening. Children are very perceptive and they will be concerned about their grandmother or grandfather if there is any hint that they are not healthy.
Don’t share personal or even intimate details about your elderly loved one’s care needs in front of children or anyone else that doesn’t need to know all of the details. Also, you should have a conversation with your elderly loved one regarding what information they don’t want shared. You may think that relying on home care for elderly individuals is nothing to be ashamed of (and it’s not) or worried about who knows about it, but your elderly loved one might not feel the same way. Respect his or her feelings and discuss this information.
Finally, think about things in age appropriate manners. Young children don’t need to know that their grandmother has trouble getting in and out of the shower, or that she struggles to walk up and down the stairs. Use common sense and respect your elderly loved one when it comes to elder care.