It’s not a conversation we ever wish to have but sometimes it’s necessary. You notice your parents struggling to get up the stairs or get around in the bathroom safely. At first you may think it’s just a phase but you slowly start to realize their episodes on the stairs and in the bathroom are a common occurrence. You know it’s time to have a tough conversation with your loved one. But how do you do that without causing more distress? Take a look at these tips for having tough conversations with aging parents.
Always approach with love, kindness and compassion
Going into these conversations with the right attitude and tone is so critical. Step into their shoes and understand that change is hard and slowly losing your independence is a difficult and frustrating transition. Listen to them and hear what they’re saying before responding after presenting the changes you wish to make to their home.
Present your solutions
Lay out your plan for their care and present how adding things like grab bars or stair lifts can better help with their well-being. You’ll want to have done your research and provide accurate information when it comes to what solutions you’re looking into. Don’t forget to add in the benefits of installing a ramp or stair lift to ensure your loved one sees the benefits.
Ask for their input
Don’t forget to include them in the decision once you’ve presented to them. Asking what they would like to see or would make life easier for them is key to helping them remain as a decision maker and maintain independence.
Know this is ongoing
Things will continue to change for loved ones as they grow older. Make sure it’s known there could be follow-ups to this initial conversation. Discussions of a home health care nurse coming to help or assisted living could potentially come up and have their mind readied for these conversations can help them in the future.
We understand these conversations are difficult and they tend to not get any easier. We hope these four tips can help you approach these discussions with love and compassion. Have you had to have these tough conversations? If so, what are some tips for having tough conversations with aging parents can you share?