Successful Communication with Aging Parents through a Multi-Step Approach

Senior Care in Greece, NY  One Family’s Story of Approaching Difficult Subjects with a Strong-willed Senior Parent

Senior Care in Greece, NY Anna’s relationship with her mother was pretty contentious most of the time. Anna found her mother, Leonora, to be critical and very controlling. Lately, Anna noticed her mom was becoming increasingly frail. This often overshadowed the person who was once so stubborn and strong-willed.

It can be difficult for adult children to talk about the needs of their aging parents. There are many important discussions to be made in the areas of care, health, money, driving and living arrangements, yet they can be very emotionally explosive at times. How can you deal with this type of distress? Do you often feel like you’re walking around on eggshells, avoiding those topics altogether? Your parent must feel quite distressed at this time as well. After all, these topics increase their sense of losing autonomy and diminished control.

Try to avoid making your parents’ decisions for them. Even though you feel very uncomfortable discussing these subjects with your parents, the end result will be a lot more successful than if you avoid the subjects altogether.

Anna discovered she must approach her mother sensitively and try to leave her own fears out of the conversation. She looked at the conversation as a way to discover her mom’s wishes for her care rather than Anna telling her mom what she thinks she should do. Because of this new outlook from Anna, Leonora felt more at ease in voicing her wishes.

You can adopt the following strategy to help you in your own conversations with your aging loved ones:

  1. Make a team – get together with your siblings or close family members and keep an open mind as you hear everyone’s perspectives. Agree to act in unity and avoid conflict.
  2. Look at the different options ahead of time – check out some agencies providing home care so you are aware of what’s involved in helping your parents remain at home to age in place, the number one choice in age care today.
  3. Seek professionals if needed – if your parent is showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, you will need specialized home care.
  4. Back off sometimes – don’t let yourself be too forceful. Even when your parents or a sibling makes a choice you don’t agree with, you can’t have it your way all the time. Keep everyone involved and respect that they will sometimes differ in opinion. Let your parents be involved in decision-making as much as possible.

If you have a loved one who could benefit from the help of senior care in Greece, NY contact the caregivers at Caring Hearts of Rochester, LLC. We help seniors and their families with many levels of home care service. Call (585) 245-0134 for more information.