As we age there are inevitable changes. For some of us those changes aren’t as readily apparent. For others, adapting to change can be more difficult. There can also be health changes and decline as we age. For many seniors bringing up conversations revolving around care is difficult. Embarrassment and fear can keep the elderly from admitting that they no longer can do some of the things they once could.
Listen and communicate
Listen to your loved one and hear what they have to say about the way they feel. Though there may be ways they have slowed down with age, there are still many ways that they are strong and healthy. Seniors still have their rights and can choose to do what they want as long as they are mentally competent.
Be patient and take your time
Let your loved one know if you have noticed something that may be wrong. Always be tactful and keep the conversation to one topic. There may be a perfectly reasonable explanation for something you see as a problem.
Keep your perspective
Conversations with a loved one may take longer than they once did. They make not be as fast at decision making or have problems making a decision. It’s difficult to see changes in a parent due to aging. We tend to expect them to stay the same. Is what is going on with them really a problem or is it only a problem to you? Look at priorities and decide what is most important in their lives. As long as they aren’t in danger, are eating well, healthy and happy, that’s what matters the most.
Keep all of these things in mind when dealing with a loved one. If you are concerned about dementia, visit their healthcare provider with them. Discuss your concerns with your parent first and get their opinion. To read more on challenging conversations and how to handle them, click here.