Having THE TALK with Mom or Dad
In many cases, our loved ones age quite gracefully and are able to remain with complete independence at quite an advanced age. In other circumstances, limitations may set in earlier. Regardless, it is recommended that family members initiate discussions with an elderly or disabled loved one to be sure that his/her physical and emotional needs are being met and discuss options for additional care. In that regard, Ambassadors Caregivers has developed THE TALK, an easy to remember method that outlines key message points for such a conversation.
T Transportation concerns.
“How safe do you feel when driving? Is it a hassle obtaining groceries, going to see the doctor, etc. Are there more dents/scratches on the car?”
H How is he/she?
“How are you feeling these days?” Addressing the emotional needs of seniors cannot be overestimated. Up to 32% of individuals referred to physicians for dementia are actually suffering from depression.
E Errors with medications.
“Are you having trouble keeping all your medications straight? Could you show me how you do it?”
“It looks like you have a little more trouble getting around the house, huh? What about getting from your bed to the walker/wheelchair?” The statistics on falls and risk factors are alarming for seniors
“Could you use some help with chores around the house? What about getting yourself ready in the mornings?”
How does he/she look? Are there signs of weight loss, dehydration, or weakness? Is Mom no longer caring for herself the way she used to?
K Kickstart talks about assistance.
“I know you like your independence. Have you ever considered getting a little help so you can stay as independent as possible? I was thinking it might be good if you had a little help around the house.” Or “What do you think about maybe making your life a little easier at a nice retirement facility or getting personal care assistant to come over and help from time to time? It would free you from having to worry about as many things.”