July 30, 2018 | Blog, Caregiver Support
5 Ways to Have a Conversation with Your Loved One
Adult children, caregivers and seniors often question when the time is right to make a move to a senior living community. We hear a common thread among those who call for a tour or information, they often worry that they have waited too long to fully benefit from the programs they are researching.
Overwhelmed and frustrated, most often it is the responsibility of the person inquiring to take care of a loved one who is alone for most of the day, unwilling or unable to go out, and typically living in a comfort zone of one or two rooms. They are cognitively not as alert and find recent events or instructions difficult to remember. This family member or caregiver is usually trying to juggle their own life while making sure doctor’s appointments are kept, shopping and chores are getting done, a proper diet is being followed and medications are taken correctly. For all of their efforts most continue to see a constant decline in their loved one. They report things like: “Mom is frustrated with me, she resents my involvement, maybe she will respond better to you.” or “I never really know what is going on, she covers for herself so well.” and “He is really not taking his medications correctly at all!”
Entering a personal care home when early warning signs emerge makes a significant impact on successful aging and longevity. Coming to a supportive living situation with built in services and socialization is enriching and allows residents to feel a sense of regained independence and control of their situation.
Here are some ways to start the conversation with your loved one before they visit a community:
- Address their fears of feeling a loss of independence and freedom, or loneliness.
- Let them help you make the decision and be a part of the process. No one wants to lose their independence, accept that they are becoming forgetful or give up their home they’ve lived in for the past 50 years.
- Have them write up a list of their concerns, questions and tour communities together. For example: What does the community have to offer? What are their activities and social events like? or What does a day in the life of a resident look like?
- Explain the benefits of having someone else keep track of their medications, plan their meals, do their laundry so they can be independent and choose different events or activities to attend that they might not have been able to go to before.
- Encourage them to try a Trial Stay to see if the lifestyle here fits with theirs. What they perceive Enhanced Living and Personal Care to be, may be vastly different from what they were expecting.