Here we look at how to sensitively start a dialogue about care with your parents so that everyone involved feels better about planned future options.
Needing care in later life isn’t something most people look forward to, but it can be such a positive thing and enable a person to continue having a good quality of life in their later years. But when it comes to talking to parents about their care options, it can be a tricky situation that has to be handled sensitively.
For most of our lives our parents are the ones we turn to for support and care, and the shift to caring for them can be difficult. Whether you are worried about their safety, want to plan the finances for future care, would like to start looking at care options, or you want to begin an open conversation about care early on, the conversation can be hard for all involved.
Here are some tips to help you talk with your parents about this sensitive topic:
In the Live-in Care Hub No Place Like Home Report shocking statistics showed that just 1.9% of those involved in an extensive study had sought advice from an independent financial advisor about care costs. Statistics also showed that the majority of those looking for information in places like the internet, still wouldn’t talk to anybody about their care options. No matter how far off needing care seems, the sooner the topic is out in the open the better. Being prepared is so important, and understanding what your parents want is really helpful, especially if something unexpected happens like a life-changing medical event.
A really good way to get a conversation started without springing it on your parents out of the blue, is to talk about loved ones or friends and colleagues who have been through experiences recently relating to care. You could talk about what you would want when you are older so that the conversation remains open and inclusive.
Pick Your Moment
It is important that this conversation happens in a relaxed and quiet environment where you can chat about everything properly. You may need several chats to clarify everything discussed, in which case try to ensure those chats happen at a time where there won’t be disturbances and where there aren’t time constraints. You may also wish to keep these discussions in private.
Think Carefully About Who Should Be Involved In The Conversations
When there are other siblings involved, or perhaps one of your parents is too unwell to make a decision about their care, you have to make sure everyone who should be involved is involved in a discussion about care plans. This makes it easier to be prepared for the discussion and also ensures everyone concerned is able to ask any questions they would like an answer to. With something as important as this it is essential that everyone is in agreement.
Suggest Options Rather Than Dictating Your Own Opinions
It is important to suggest the different care options to your parents rather than dictate your own opinions and preferences. Talk about home helps, care homes, live-in care and home care in an unbiased way, but with the focus being on the best option for your parent’s quality of life. Being too opinionated could make your parent think that their feelings don’t matter but good care is all about what matters to the person being cared for. Approaching the subject with respect is so important and is more likely to result in a positive outcome.
Talking About Care Options With Your Parents Is Important
It is really important that you talk to your parents about care options and it isn’t something you should put off. It might be a difficult conversation to have, but it will result in this important topic being out in the open. The more you know about what your parents want, the more likely their long term care plans will be the best for them and the rest of the family.