The following article was reprinted with the permission of Home Instead.
While family caregivers and senior care professionals might recognize that an older adult needs help, seniors often don’t want it, potentially putting their health and safety at risk. Family caregivers may lack the communication skills needed to talk with their aging loved ones about this sensitive subject and the practical knowledge of the options and services that are available.
“Reassuring a senior loved one that you have the same goal in mind will help,” said family caregiving consultant Dr. Amy D’Aprix, author of From Surviving to Thriving: Transforming Your Caregiving Experience (www.DrAmyCaregiving.com). “Start with: ‘My goal for you is to be independent, too. You know I can’t be here all the time. A little extra assistance will help you stay home.'”
Consider these tips, from the Home Instead Senior Care® family caregiver support series Caring for Your Parents: Education for the Family Caregiver:
- Be mindful of your approach and speaking methods.
- Move toward solutions that provide the maximum amount of independence for the older person.
- Look for answers that optimize strengths and desires.
- Remember that you are talking to an adult, not a child.
- Not everything needs to be solved right away.
Other tips that can help families address sensitive situations such as money troubles, dating or driving are available at www.4070talk.com.
For more information about family caregiving and communicating with a senior loved one, go to www.CaregiverStress.com.