How to Have Difficult Conversations with Aging Parents

Aging Parents

Having to have difficult family conversations is never usually a joyous occasion in the heat of the moment, but it can be a significant undertaking, especially when questions of health and old age need to be discussed. 

Talking to aging parents about potentially distressing subject matter, like future living arrangements, wills, and financing, can offer up an unfamiliar change in the family dynamic. 

In order to make sure that you can talk freely and without judgment or shame, it is worth considering a few points that may help the dialogue flow comfortably. 

Protecting their Best Interests

If you have noticed that your parents have started struggling with small, physical tasks such as doing the washing up, getting in and out of chairs, or cooking, it might be time to discuss future living arrangements. 

By letting them know that a move might one day be in their very best interests, and you only want to help them plan for a bright future full of enjoyment and ease, you can start to figure out which direction is the one worth taking through measured discussion. 

For example, some of the best-assisted living facilities offer a wealth of wonderful benefits, so talking about them should not be a taboo subject by any means. 

You may want to take a look at Bella Terra Senior Living for a fantastic example of what to expect from some of the best choices. 

Patience and Understanding

Even if you find yourself at your wit’s end and the conversation seems to be going nowhere, there is little use in getting angry. This will likely only serve to make the situation worse and might make your aging loved ones feel upset and embarrassed. 

Being patient and understanding is one of the best ways to keep the conversation under control, and sometimes, this is done by simply listening to what they truly have to say. 

If you have ever had to provide tech support for your aging loved ones, you will likely be aware of the many benefits that staying calm can bring

The Perfect Setting

Holding difficult conversations over the phone can add an extra level of frustration and animosity that does not need to be there. 

If you feel safe enough to do so, it can be best to have these conversations in person, in a comfortable and sociable setting. If not, a video call might be a good alternative. 

Making sure to use comforting and reassuring body language is a must, as is smiling, even when there is not much to smile about. 

Write Down Your Progress

There is a good chance that the conversation will be an ongoing process, in which a great number of decisions will need to be made, and many words will be spoken. 

Taking notes might be a good way to ensure you do not leave out any important information and that you can revisit points should you need to. 

Talking about the future with your aging parents can be hard, but you can make sure it gets easier with your love and support.