Your senior’s health can be perfectly fine for quite a while, but then you start having some concerns. What do you do when it’s time to talk about what your aging family member might be facing?
Get Your Thoughts Together
When you first decide to talk with your senior about what’s going on, you might feel scattered. Take some time to really get your thoughts together. That might mean sitting down with a pen and a piece of paper and taking some notes. Write down everything that you can think of that has you concerned. Even if it seems small, write it down. You’re in the brainstorming phase right now.
Prioritize Your Concerns
After you’ve made your list, walk away for a little while. This can help you to both make sure your list is complete and give you a moment to clear your head. Look over your list again and pick three or four concerns that are your biggest ones. You might start to notice that a lot of your concerns all fall under the same umbrella, like safety.
Let Her Know You’re Not Trying to Take Over
When you’re ready to talk about what’s going on, let your senior know you’re not doing this so that you can control every aspect of her life. She needs to understand that you’re not trying to undermine her independence. This is about making sure that she’s okay, not that you’re in charge of everything that she does. Independence can be one of your senior’s most important concerns right now, so anything that threatens that is not going to go over well.
Come to the Conversation with Solutions
Something else you need to consider is that solutions are going to be incredibly helpful. You’re coming to her with problems, so it doesn’t hurt to have answers, too. For instance, if you’re worried about her ability to continue to drive, you might mention hiring senior care providers to take over the driving for her. You’re addressing your concern, but you have a potential solution, too. It’s not all about beating her up when you have this talk.
The more prepared you are for this conversation the easier it will be to have it. You need to make sure that you’re addressing your concerns lovingly and with compassion. If she lets you know this isn’t going to happen now, you may need to come back to this talk at a later time.