Bracing yourself to talk to your senior about how she wants her later years to be is common for family caregivers. It’s vital to go ahead and have the talk, even if you don’t feel completely prepared at first. You’ll have more chances to work out details.
It’s not about Having the Whole Plan Right Now
A common misconception is that you need to have the full plan ready to go and all the answers right now. That’s not really the case, especially if this is a new topic for you and your senior. What’s more important is that you’re opening the lines of communication and getting this conversation started. More than likely this is going to be one of several conversations that you have.
Practice What You Want to Say
It can help if you write out and even practice what you want to say to your senior. This allows you to really work through what you want to suggest and offer to her as solutions for the problems that you see. Talking through solutions like hiring senior care providers is a good idea because you want to have the benefits of that answer ready to go. That can help you to offer your senior practical reasons that this solution is a good one.
You and Your Senior Might not Agree
You probably already know that there are times that you and your elderly family member don’t agree. But it’s likely going to hit you a little bit differently when you disagree during this conversation. That’s because you have your senior’s best interests at heart and it can be difficult to hear that she feels a different answer is best. Disagreeing isn’t the end of the world and you can sometimes work through that.
Talk about Possible Answers Now
It’s always good to start talking about possible answers as soon as possible, especially if you’re bringing up topics that seem to you to be problems. Sometimes your senior might not see those same issues as problems, so it can be a huge benefit to have answers ready to go. Just because you’re offering them, though, doesn’t mean your senior is going to green light them just yet.
Lots of times families want to avoid these conversations because of possible disagreements, but it’s important to know what your senior wants and expects from the later stages of her life so that you can help her to meet those goals.