An American Association of Retired Persons survey found that two-thirds of adult children haven’t had the challenging conversation with an aging loved one regarding their later in life days. This is most likely due to the fact that a lot of adult children are not sure how to have a talk of this capacity, or how to begin it. From an article on BusinessWest, here are some helpful tips on successfully having the talk with an aging loved one.
• Decide how you are going to do it and who’s going to be there. Sometimes a one-on-one talk is best; however, if you need someone to back up your points or provide another point of view, it may be a good idea to get other family members involved.
• Go over which talking points you will speak on before approaching your loved one, and set up a time and place to talk.
• Express each idea as an opinion of yours rather than a need for them. For example, choosing phrases like “I think” or “I need” rather than “you should” or “you need” are good ways to avoid conflict.
• Remind your loved one that everyone is there because they care and want to help keep them safe.
• Stay calm. Don’t raise your voice, speak over your loved one, or encourage any hostility during this discussion, as it will only make the situation worse.
• If your loved one immediately dismisses the idea of leaving their home, it may be best to drop the issue for the moment and bring it back up at another time.