Caregiving: How to Start the “Tough Conversation” With Mom and Dad

It’s often the way of life that you end up having to look after the ones who looked after you for your whole childhood, and even throughout young adulthood. You want to make sure that your parents have the care and support that they need when they reach a certain age, but it can be difficult to bring that conversation up initially.

If the tough conversation is in your near future, here are some tips on how to approach it.

Have the conversation before you need to

When it comes to planning for your parents’ aging care, it is better to have the conversation sooner rather than later. If you only start talking about it as a response to their deteriorating health, decisions might need to be rushed. In the unfortunate event that a parent develops dementia, for example, they might not be in a fit state to have the conversation and make decisions about their own care. Having the conversation early makes sure you’re prepared for whatever happens in the future.

Do some research

It can be good to do some research of your own before you start the conversation. Understand the different options for your parents’ care, such as assisted living, independent living, retirement communities, rehabilitative care. Form an opinion about what you think is best for your parents and talk to any family members that’ll be involved to make sure you’re on the same page. When you then talk to your parents about it, you’ll be fully informed and able to tell them what you think.

Be direct, but empathetic

It might be an uncomfortable conversation to have, but beating around the bush isn’t going to help any decisions be made. Be direct when you approach the conversation, but make sure you’re empathizing with your parents’ feelings, too. Consider how they’ll be feeling in this situation and be sensitive about those feelings.

Listen to them

Your parents will probably want to retain as much control as possible as they age, including through this decision-making process. So, when having this conversation, it’s important that you’re not just talking at them and telling them what to do. Ask them questions, ask for their opinion, and, most of all, listen to their answers. You should offer your advice and your opinion, but it’s important that they’re still the ones making the decisions, as long as they are fit to do so.

Talking about aging with your parents can be difficult, but if you start early then you’ll be better prepared when the time comes that they do need extra care. Bermuda Village at the Bermuda Run Country Club has been recognized as one of the best places to retire. Get in touch if you’re looking for independent living in North Carolina.

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