It can be difficult to start talking with aging parents about their future. Many aging adults want to remain living independently in their own homes for as long as possible, and it’s hard for them to admit that someday their needs may change. It can be especially difficult for aging parents to acknowledge that they may not be able to care for themselves as well they did in their younger years. However, discussing their future care, and the related financial and legal matters that may arise, is a crucial step to take before a real crisis of any sort occurs.
Knowing how to talk to elderly parents and treating them with the respect they deserve will make the end of life conversation easier on all those involved. Include siblings and other family members so your parents know you all want the best for them, and that you are all there to support them. Just remember that your aging parents still have a right to make their own decisions and feel in control of their lives.
Today’s older adults have a variety of senior living options available to them. From independent living in a private home or apartment for those seniors who are still active and healthy, to an assisted living community where they will have access to 24 hour care. Every senior is different and the best senior living option for your aging parents will depend on their current and future healthcare needs.
Prepare to have the conversation with your loved ones by first gathering your thoughts. You may find it useful to put your concerns down on paper or in a letter, or even have a practice conversation with a friend or family member. Make a list of the topics you’d like to discuss to help you stay focused. Remember, talking with your aging parents while they are still in good overall health is better than waiting until an illness or condition won’t allow them to have a say in any of the decisions being made. Do some research beforehand about the types of senior living options available and share it with them, allowing them the chance to share their own opinions and wishes. Express your concerns for their future rather than telling them what they should or shouldn’t do.
It’s important to remember that the decision to talk with aging parents about assisted living comes out of your love and concern for them as their adult children. You should not feel guilty about caring for their safety and wanting the best for their future health needs, even if that means moving them out of the home they’ve lived in for many years. Even though you may be met with some resistance initially, do not give up. Learning how to talk with elderly or aging parents is never an easy or necessarily enjoyable experience but your goal is to try and improve their overall quality of life and will be worth it in the end.
At Lourdes-Noreen McKeen, we offer a variety of senior care services in the beautiful Palm Beach Area that are designed to fit your aging loved ones’ needs. Contact us today about our luxurious Florida retirement community.