We sometimes avoid certain conversations because they seem intimidating or difficult in some way, but it’s essential to have them, especially when it’s time for a change.
It may seem like the best route is just to rip the band-aid off and bring up the topic, but when it comes to talking with your parents about a sensitive issue, it’s a different process. Here is how to have tough conversations with your aging parents.
The best way to communicate your intention is to be as clear and precise as you can. If you beat around the bush and don’t explain your point efficiently, your parent may grow impatient.
Listen to what they have to say with empathy, and try to place yourself in their shoes. They may be going through something that you’re unaware of, and they have their own reasons for doing things.
Involve Your Siblings
Having tough conversations with your parents can be something you dread, but you don’t have to do it alone. If you have siblings, try talking with them first to figure out the best way to help your parents understand your perspective.
Involving your siblings can help you feel more confident and calmer in the conversation, as you’ll have a support system behind you to help guide you through the discussion.
Most Common Conversations
We may be comfortable talking to our parents about anything in the world, but there are certain things we may feel awkward bringing up. Here are some of the most common conversations you’ll need to have with your parents at some point.
Giving Up Their Driver’s License
Once seniors reach a certain age, their motor skills may begin to decrease to the point where it’s dangerous for them to be behind the wheel. Try asking them questions like how their vision is when they drive at night or how comfortable they are driving in heavy traffic.
If they don’t seem comfortable with the idea of not driving anymore, try involving their primary physician to help them see the importance of their safety on the road.
Beginning In-Home Care
No one likes to feel like they’re losing their independence, which is what your aging parent may feel when you bring up this topic. Many parents may see in-home care as the end of their freedom; understand how to talk to your parents about in-home care to ensure they get the support and attention they need.
Writing Their Will
Talking to your parents about their estate seems daunting, but try to let them lead the conversation. You don’t want to seem like you’re waiting for their will to activate, but it’s essential to have a plan in place to ensure they’re comfortable. Include your family, and approach the topic in a gentle manner.
Navigating sensitive topics is a challenge, but now that you know how to have tough conversations with your aging parents, you can help your parents better understand your point, and you’ll both leave the discussion feeling accomplished.