Beginning the care conversation with your loved ones can be daunting, especially since they are not familiar with that potential change of lifestyle, and may not want to accept their need for care. There are several ways to approach this conversation that might make it easier for you.
Get Your Doctor Involved
If your loved one has an upcoming appointment with their doctor, consider calling the doctor prior to the appointment. The purpose of this phone call would be to ask the doctor to mention their concerns about your loved one, and suggest the benefits in making the change. This will introduce the benefits of care to your loved one.
After their appointment, you will have an opportunity to have a care conversation. Reference what the doctor had mentioned, and the conversation will shift from the caregiver to the doctor. Your loved one may be more likely to listen to their doctor, so it would be easier for you to encourage them to make the transition.
Consider A Respite Stay
Most senior living communities will allow a senior to stay for a few weeks to a month for the purpose of experiencing life at the community before they make a move. This is a great option for seniors because they can meet friends, get to know the building, try the food, and familiarize themselves with the staff.
Often, your loved one will realize that life is more enjoyable in the community, so they will want to make the transition. Respite care is a great way for the senior to get a “try it before you buy it” experience.
Hire a Geriatric Care Manager
A Geriatric Care Manager is a licensed nurse or social worker who is trained in senior care. Their job is to lead families through difficult conversations and create a senior care plan. They can also coordinate medical services, visit the home, and discuss emotional concerns.
Caregivers should consider this option because it relieves stress and takes some of the emotional weight off their shoulders. Geriatric Care Managers specialize in aging and senior care, so they will know how to approach the care conversation with the family.
Do This Together
Do not approach the conversation with a predetermined plan in mind, as nobody likes to be told what to do. This is a process that needs to be done together, and must involve listening to your loved ones' questions and concerns. Your relationship with your loved one should always come first.
Don’t anticipate an answer in just one day. Let your loved one reflect on your conversation, and give them time to think about their options.
Senior Living Experts can help you and your family with any questions you may have about senior living. Contact us at 773-231-7212 or visit www.seniorlivingexperts.com for more information.
For more information on preparing for a conversation visit Planning for Senior Parents Page