There is likely to be a difficult transition as your loved ones get older. Your roles will reverse, and you will become responsible for taking care of them. It is natural for older people to find it more difficult to complete their daily tasks and remain living independently and safely at home. This can lead to some tough conservations, i.e. whether it’s time for them to consider moving into residential care. These topics must be discussed sensitively to ensure the best possible outcome. Here are some difficult conversations that you are likely to have with elderly loved ones and tips to help them go smoothly.
Are your loved ones still safe to drive?
Being able to drive allows people the freedom to travel where they want. However, it often becomes unsafe for older people to continue operating. Old age is alone is rarely a reason for people to give up driving, but older adults often develop medical conditions that make it unsafe for them to drive. This may include slow reflexes, vision impairment, or physical limitations. These common health problems can make it difficult and dangerous for seniors to drive. According to AAPR, some warning signs of an unsafe elderly driver include: “delayed response times, becoming easily distracted while driving, and hitting curbs when performing maneuvers.” If you notice these warning signs, then it might be time to have the difficult elderly driving conversation. Remember that losing the capability to drive can be extremely upsetting for seniors as it will restrict their independence and freedom. Make sure that you approach the topic sensitively and discuss alternative, safer modes of transport, i.e. taxis or buses.
Do your loved ones have a long-term care plan?
It can be exceptionally difficult to bring up the fact that your elderly loved ones may be unable to take care of themselves one day. However, the reality is that most seniors reach a point when they can no longer live at home independently without assistance. This is a hard conversation to have, but you must discuss your elderly loved one’s long-term care plan. Often, it is not realistic for seniors to expect to stay at home until they die. Fortunately, there is a fantastic selection of senior living communities that offer around-the-clock support and specialist care for aging seniors. Discuss the possibility of residential care and make sure you also talk about how your elderly loved one’s plan to pay for their future care.
Do your loved ones have a will?
If someone dies without a will, then a large chunk of their estate is often lost through taxes and court fees. For that reason, you should openly discuss estate planning and encourage your elderly loved ones to write a will or contact an attorney for advice. Having a will or trust will ensure that their final wishes are met.
The above conversations can be difficult to have, but they are important topics that need to be discussed as your loved ones get older. The most important thing is to discuss these issues sensitively and be as open and honest as possible. Use the above suggestions to help you handle tough conversations with your elderly loved ones.