How to Have “The Talk” with Your Aging Loved One

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Whether it’s conversations about housing options, finances or medical directives, there are many topics that adult children need to discuss with their elderly family members. Open communication is the best way to ensure that your aging parent or loved one enjoys the best quality of life for the longest period of time. Talking about sensitive subjects isn’t always easy, especially if your aging loved one is suffering from memory loss or dementia but the following tips can get the conversation rolling. And if your loved does have memory loss or dementia, you may want to consider dementia care in West Hartford from Home Care Assistance.

Set Realistic Expectations

A single conversation isn’t likely going to address and resolve every concern, so rather than starting the discussion with a laundry list of issues, focus on opening up the lines of communication. Expressing just how much your loved one means to you is a great way to begin. Reassure your family member that your goal is to honor his or her wishes regarding their future plans. Some seniors may initially get paranoid that someone is trying to take over, steal their assets or become concerned that their independence is quickly dwindling. The first initial conversation is a time to reassure, comfort and converse about their needs.

Talking About Money

Many older adults were raised to avoid the subject of money, so talking about finances can make them feel uncomfortable. Sharing information about your own finances can help break the ice. Ask for advice about writing a will, getting life insurance or putting aside money for retirement. Once the conversation gets going your aging parent may open up to you more about their current financial situation and may be willing to let you help. Ask your loved one to share a list of important passwords and documents so that you can access them in case of an emergency.

Advance Directives

Discussing legal and medical options with your loved one can be challenging, but emphasizing that you want to make sure that your family member’s wishes are fulfilled helps open up the discussion. Stress the importance of establishing a living will, a power of attorney and a health care proxy or agent. Keep reminding your aging loved one that you want to ensure that he or she remains healthy, happy and financially secure for many years to come.

And while you are at the topic of Medical care, don’t forget to bring up the important subject of care in their later years. This might be a good time to discuss all their options including hourly and live-in home care in West Hartford, if your aging parent doesn’t have in-home care already.

The Home Care Assistance caregivers in West Hartford make it their goal to ensure that your aging loved one is happy, healthy and living life with a sense of purpose and dignity. Our holistic health practices focus on nutrition, exercise, emotional well-being, and active socialization. We also believe that a strong family unit that employs open and honest communication can greatly affect a senior’s sense of independence and joy.

If you need help addressing the growing concerns about having “the talk” with your aging parent, or if you’d like to set up a free in-home consultation to discuss our care services, please call Home Care Assistance in Greater Hartford today at 860-372-4500.


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