Helping You Approach The Topic Of Care With Your Elderly Parent
One of the biggest challenges often faced when discussing care with an elderly person is strong resistance. Resistance can be exhibited in many forms, such as denial, grief and even actual violence. It is unsurprisingly that so many elderly people are resistant to care, after all, it can be extremely hard to accept that we are no longer able to look after ourselves as we used to.
Unfortunately there is no hard and fast way to resolve this issue and it can be a very painful experience, however, it is better to persevere than give up since you would never forgive yourself if something was to happen to your beloved parent when they were still living on their own, without the help of a carer.
Still, the issue remains of how you can get your elderly parent to speak with you about the topic of care and ensure they will cooperate when the time comes?
1. Understand why they are (or might be when the time comes) resistant
The topic of care is never easy and to be honest, most people would probably be resistant to the idea. After all, who wants to be in the position where they can no longer shop for their own food or even feed, bathe, and dress themselves? However, it is really important to take into account the more specific reasons as to why your elderly parent may be resistant to the idea of care.
For instance, they might well be struggling with the idea of losing their independence and privacy. They might be frightened or worried at the thought of leaving their belongings, or even concerned you’re shutting them away to forget about them. You need to understand these kinds of points and take the time to allay their fears.
2. Talk about the finances
Of course, your parent may be concerned about the financial aspect of care, in which case you should take the time to consider all the options they have available, or will have available when the time comes. Once they are more aware of how things will be paid for, you may find they become more comfortable with the idea of care.
It is important to talk about finances right from the start since your parent may be required to pay a sum towards their own care and it may impact on their property and any other assets they have. Additionally it is crucial you know what state your parent’s finances are in so you can help them apply for and access state funding, or help them out financially yourself if need be.
3. Approach them at the right time
One of the biggest mistakes people make, when approaching their elderly parent about care, is doing so at the wrong time. For instance some people may prefer you approach them on your own rather than ambush them with the entire family, all of whom are pushing for them to accept they need care. Others, however, may find it easier to be surrounded by multiple members of the family when talking about care.
It is important to know when is the best time to talk everything through so make sure you do so when everyone is calm and you are all prepared and able to speak your minds. The topic is never going to be easy but the discussion will go a lot smoother if done at the right time.
4. Make sure you know what their preferences are
Make sure you discuss the topic of care before it is too late, i.e. do it whilst your parent still has all their mental faculties. Otherwise you risk making decisions that you’re not sure they’d have agreed with. You need to make sure you know what all their preferences are in terms of the type of care they receive. Even if, when it comes down to it, you cannot actually meet all their wishes, it is important to have at least had their thoughts, opinions and wishes taken into consideration.
5. Don’t give up.
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, it is important that you don’t give up. You must discuss care options with your parent. Make sure you emphasise that you’re wishing to discuss it for their benefit and keep persevering; eventually they will come round.
- License: Image author owned
Laura writes for Extra Mile Care. When not writing, she can often be found tackling many tough subjects with her parents.