Having the Difficult Conversation With Your Aging Parents

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It’s important to start the conversation with your loved ones about their plans and goals regarding long-term care as soon as you can. Unfortunately, it’s not always an easy conversation to have. Often times, senior parents are resistant to change or in denial of their current situation. To help with the process, Vista Prairie Communities has put together a list of tips on how to approach these conversations and make them productive.

1. Share your own feelings

Be open and honest when speaking with your parent. We think that “I” statements are the most effective way to clearly explain your specific concerns. Also, remember to remind your mom or dad that your concerns always come from a place of love and care.

2Imagine the roles are reversed

Put yourself in your parents’ shoes. How would you want them to address you about their concerns?

3. Reassure your loved one of your support

Tell your parent that you will be supportive and will always act in their best interest. Make sure they know you are always there for them.

4.  Help your loved one Maintain a sense of control

During these transitions, seniors often feel a loss of independence and autonomy. Help your parents maintain a sense of control in their lives by including them throughout the process and asking for their suggestions and their wants and needs.

5. Respect your own needs

Remind your mom or dad that although you love to spend time with them, you have your own needs and responsibilities that require attention. Be honest about your time and energy limits and be sure to make time for yourself and your family.

6. Leave the conversation with an action point

All too often difficult conversations end with: “We’ll talk more about this later.” Instead of ending on a lingering note, make it a goal to come away with action items in terms of your parents’ current needs and long-term care.

If assisted living is a part of your plan, contact Vista Prairie Communities today. We are committed to providing the highest standard of care, comfortable environments and life-enriching programs to all of our seniors. Just know that the conversations can be difficult, but they are important to make sure your loved ones live long, healthy lives.

RELATED: How to Tell When age is Affecting Your Loved Ones

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