6 Tips for Starting a Conversation About Senior Care

3/15/2016

senior care discussion

Have you missed your favorite 2nd Family spokesperson? Well, Wink Martini is back with more to say about old people and martinis. Have you ever thought about talking to your loved one about senior care? If you did, you probably have several versions of this conversation playing out in your head, and none of them ends well. Let’s face it, old people can be stubborn. If your folks are anything like mine, they won’t admit they need help easily and will wait until the last minute to call you. It can be tough to convince elderly people that senior home care is the way to go. But take my advice: down a martini for bravery and follow these handy tips!

Start the Conversation Early

You should accept and be prepared that your loved one may not embrace the idea of senior care with enthusiasm when you first bring it up. So start talking about it early, before they even need it, so that you can test the ground and sow your seeds, so to speak. You don’t have to plant the idea in their head inception-style, but do your best to introduce the concept. This is also a good opportunity to see how your folks react and note any objections they may express. When you bring this topic up some time later, you will be prepared to disarm any of their arguments.

Avoid Acting Like a Parent

No one likes to be told what to do. And if it’s true that old people are very much like children, avoid giving orders and instead just have a conversation. Don’t act patronizing or condescending. Instead, be open, honest and understanding. Ask lots of open-ended questions and talk like you are talking to your equal.

Pick the Right Place and Time

If it’s your very first time mentioning the subject of senior care, bring it up casually as an extension of your ongoing conversation. Choose a setting where your loved one is the most comfortable—at home or on a lunch date in a favorite cafe may be some of the best places. Don’t be nervous and don’t do the “sit down, we need to talk” thing: as we said, orders and patronizing attitude don’t work very well on old people.

Have Some Examples Ready

To defend your point of view, you may need to offer some real-life examples of how your loved one could benefit from the help of a professional Maryland senior caregiver. The tricky part here is to pick the right words, so that your examples don’t sound like accusations or point to fault. So instead of saying “you can’t shower by yourself, you’ve fallen before,” say something like “I’m worried that you will slip in the shower and hurt yourself.” Other examples may include things like missing medications, skipping meals or slacking on home cleaning.

Explain How Senior Home Care Works

Your parents have never had an experience with a senior caregiver, so they don’t know what to expect. And when they don’t know, they can assume wrong things they’ve heard on TV or read in a paper. Explain to them that a senior caregiver is there to help with the struggles of the daily life, and not to take away their independence. Make it clear that a caregiver’s job is to offer help only where the help is needed.

Enlist Extra Help

If nothing else works, you could try introducing your mom or pops to third parties who have experience with senior caregivers. This could be their neighbor who has a caregiver or their doctor who can offer a professional opinion. Hearing this advice from an unbiased party could make your stubborn old man change his mind!

And you are always welcome to contact 2nd Family directly and have your loved one meet with one of our caregivers. We’ll be happy to offer you more information about what senior caregiver services in Maryland include and how they can help in your situation.

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Howard County: Annapolis Junction (20701), Laurel (20723), Fulton (20759), Savage (20763), Highland (20777), Jessup (20794), Brookeville (20833), Clarksville (21029), Dayton (21036), Ellicott City (21042, 21043, 21041), Columbia (21044, 21045, 21046), Elkridge (21075), Hanover (21076), Marriottsville (21104), Woodstock (21163), Cooksville (21723), Glenelg (21737), Glenwood (21738), Mount Airy (21771), Sykesville (21784), West Friendship (21794), Woodbine (21797), Simpsonville (21150), Lisbon (21765

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Frederick County: Frederick (21701, 21702, 21703), Woodsboro (21798), New Market (21774), Walkersville (21793) Monrovia (21770), Clarksburg (20871), Ijamsville (21754)

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