Caregiver communication is key
Initiating a conversation about health and wellness with a senior can be difficult. Family members tend to be hesitant to talk about certain needs that are recognized, or how to properly plan for future care. What exactly be needed? What type of care does mom and dad want? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you better understand what steps to take. Although these conversations may not be the easiest, they are worth having. Here are some types to help with communicating.
gather information about your loved one
Write down everything during this conversation. Ask them about the last few months. Have they fallen? Did they forget to take their medication or pay the bills? Are all doctors’ visits current? This will help you get a better understanding of their current state. Listen to your instincts. Any change in conditions could indicate for added care.
Remian connected and unbias
Create a positive environment with the objective to listen rather than to respond. This will help them feel comfortable and more open to longer communication. Your goal is not to give advice but to express love and concern. Stay calm and be as comforting as possible. You don’t want your loved one to feel pressured into making a decision he/she feels others want. Keep assumptions to a minimum. Ask questions to gain intel and only refer to situations that already have occurred.
involve siblings and close family members
Talk to your brothers and sisters about the current situation before talking with your loved one. They may have been informed about information that you are unaware of and vice versa. This may require putting aside personal issues between one another for the best interest of him/her. The first conversation should be only between a family member and your senior loved one. Involving too many individuals at the beginning will create unsteady and hostile surroundings. After the first or second conversation, gather everyone together.
Be prepared for the word “no”
This is a topic that also needs to be discussed with siblings before the actual conversation to make sure everyone is on the same page. Your loved one may be frustrated by the situation an unwilling for any type of care. This is completely normal. Do not push or try to persuade him/her into anything. Instead, step back and give them some time to think things through. Try offering tips in a positive manner such as the benefits are there. This may give them the opportunity to stay at home longer and be able to spend more time with family and friends.
While it may be discomforting to think about your loved one aging and showing signs of added assistance, many seniors feel relieved that they are being loved and cared for.
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