Starting a Conversation About Senior Care

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 27 February 2012

Parents are often forced to have difficult conversations with their children throughout their lifetimes, particularly during adolescence or in cases of death, divorce and other major life changes.

When the tables are turned and children have concerns about their aging parents, starting a conversation about considering senior care options is easier said than done.

Expressing concerns is certainly the first step. However, adult children must be careful to express their worries in a way that does not patronize or embarrass the parent.

For example, use language that affirms rather than assumes, seeking suggestions for how to make it better before passing senior care community brochures across the table: “Dad, I’m concerned that keeping up with the house is not as easy or enjoyable as it used to be for you. Is that so? How can I help?”

It is also essential for children to listen to their parents — both in the things they are and are not saying about care and housing preferences — rather than charging ahead with plans and preparations. “Mom, are you willing to consider bringing in home care to help you meet Dad’s care needs?” will likely be more well-received than “I made the arrangements and a home care nurse will be coming here three times a week to take care of Dad.”

Find more tips on talking to aging parents about senior care here.



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