Having the conversation about care for your elderly relative is one of life’s difficult chats. No-one wants to imagine a future when they cannot look after themselves. However, there are different levels of care which will help older people lead a worthwhile independent life into their old age. It is a lot less complicated to have these conversations early rather than when it is all too urgent. Here’s a guide on How to Talk About the Subject of Care Homes with an Elderly Loved One that can help!
Have the conversation before rather than after
It is tempting to put off the conversation about when and where your elderly loved one should go for care when they begin to struggle to look after themselves. However it is much better to discuss what happens in the event of a serious medical episode rather than once someone is hit by something like a severe stroke when it can be very difficult to discuss the options.
Make it reciprocal
If you are close to your parents’ age it is easier to talk about what happens if either of you suffer from a medical condition which means extra care is needed. It is also pertinent to talk about topics such as power of attorney, which grants the nearest and dearest the responsibility to make decisions on their behalf in the event that they are incapacitated.
Talk about preferences and investigate the options
There are plenty of options for elderly people who feel they can no longer cope on their own. From care at home provision, through sheltered accommodation, to care homes for the elderly, there are different levels of care at every stage. There are non-medical homes and those with nursing staff while carers at home can help out with different areas of daily routines.
Be aware of the warning signs
It is important for you and your elderly relative to be alert to the signs which may signal dementia or other conditions. Forgetfulness, frequent falls and lack of appetite are all signs that there is something wrong. When you are considering whether or not care is needed it is important to be respectful and know that elderly people value their independence as much as any other adult.
Make sure everyone is involved in the conversation
If you have lots of siblings or other relatives who are close to your elderly loved one, ensure that they are all party to these very important conversations. Support from the whole family is vital in these situations and it is much easier if everyone is in agreement with the choice of the care location. Your elderly relative will want to ensure wherever they move to it is convenient for the family but the family must also be understanding if their ideal care home is situated further away.