Sensitive topics are never easy to initiate, especially when your conversation is with a loved one. With the added pressure of considering how to delicately handle concerns for anaging parent, you may feel like putting off a difficult conversation is better than upsetting someone. Whether it’s time to talk about moving into a continuing care retirement community, like The Cypress of Charlotte, bringing in extra help at home, or giving up driving, when you talk about reversing a long-standing power structure —things can become uncomfortable quickly. Knowing which words to use and which areas to avoid can greatly improve the odds of working toward a solution that will be best for everyone in your family.
Tips for Handling Difficult Family Conversations
Prepare for the Conversation
Information is your best tool when beginning a difficult conversation. Researching the different available resources for seniors in their home area is another great pre-conversation tool. Do your best to get an accurate idea of your loved one’s monthly income and any investments they may have; this allows you to have concrete options to present them.
Begin with Facts
Your parents may assume that you’ll take them in when the time comes for them to receive round-the-clock care and attention. If you are unable to do that, don’t feel guilty and clearly state this is not an option. Do your best to remind your loved one that you are thinking of their happiness and safety and want to be proactive to ensure they can enjoy the best quality of life.
Remember your parents can still have plenty of control over their future! Deciding to take a few important safety steps for their health and care is not a bad thing. With an ample amount of different options for their continued care, you’ll both feel better about the future. When speaking with them, remember to use words that are not demanding or devaluing. Instead of saying that you’ll be taking your parent’s car keys, why not breach the subject with an offer to arrange transportation to and from their appointments.
Starting a conversation with solid evidence is another way to communicate more effectively. If you’ve noticed your parents are having a hard time keeping up with housework or they are making regular medical trips each week, state those facts when mentioning a continuing care retirement community or maybe even a Charlotte nursing home.
If you are considering bringing in home living assistance, remember that it’s always worth giving something new a trial basis. This can alleviate some pressure and help your parents realize this is a better option for their health and well-being.
Remember to Listen
While you may have all the facts and plenty of easy ways to start a difficult conversation, it’s also important to listen to what your parents have to say. Discuss how losing some of their independence makes them feel and be sensitive to this change. Be empathetic but strong, and remind them they can still have control over many everyday decisions. If your first attempts are dismissed, don’t be afraid to try again. With the help of family, friends, and trusted community members like a physician or pastor —you can help your parents realize that everyone is looking out for their best interests.
Learn more about our Charlotte CCRC
The Cypress of Charlotte is a membership-only active senior living community. We provide high-end amenities and exceptional care services to our residents. Learn about the life your aging loved one could enjoy at our CCRC – contact our team today.