Part of caregiving involves facing some large issues and topics. There may be times that you and your senior don’t agree about what she needs or what should happen next in her care. That might be one of the times when you have to have a big conversation that feels a little too difficult.
Gather as Much Information as You Need
Depending on the situation you’re concerned about, you might want to make sure you’re operating on more than a hunch. For some conversations, you really need to have some solid information to go on before you bring the topic up with your senior. This information gathering can take time and observation on your part. If you’re concerned you’re only getting part of the story, you might want to consider getting some extra help. Senior care providers can help you to determine if you’re seeing the situation accurately while also helping your elderly family member.
When You Do Have Your Information, Don’t Wait too Long
You can gather a lot of information, but if you don’t act on it then it’s not doing you or you’re senior any good. What you’re aiming for is to gather as much information as you need to confirm what you think is happening with your senior. From there, you need to make a decision about what the next best choice is. If you still need advice, you may need to determine where to go next, which might mean talking with your senior’s doctor or some other expert.
Consider Your Timing Carefully
More often than you might realize, your timing matters a lot with these conversations. If your elderly family member is already not in a great headspace, bringing up an important or big topic that you know is going to be complicated may not be the best idea. Holding off until you know it’s a better time can give you better overall results.
Be Open and Remember Your Senior Is an Adult
When the stars do align and you’re ready to talk, remember that you’re having a conversation with one adult talking to another. If you’re talking down to your senior or being too controlling, that is probably going to backfire on you and give you results you don’t expect or want. Be honest with your elderly family member and openly talk with her about what has you worried.
Find the Solutions that Give Her Choices, Safety, and Independence
Ultimately what you’re looking to do is to work with your senior to find solutions that allow her to have options, to be safe, and to stay as independent as she wants to be. These are tall orders, of course, but they’re not impossible if you and your elderly family member are able to work together.
The idea is to help the conversation to go as well as possible, of course. If you need to table the conversation for a little while, that might be best.