Do you have a vision in mind for how you’d like to age and what long-term care might look like for you? Or perhaps you’re just starting to consider your future and options. Either way: Don’t keep your ideas to yourself! Talk with your loved ones so they can support your plan. Starting a conversation about aging and long-term care might feel awkward or scary. Perhaps you don’t want to discuss the topic, or maybe you worry about how your loved ones will react. But by involving loved ones early, you can be more assured of aging according to your wishes.
Here are 6 tips for discussing long-term care with your loved one:
1. Plan an appropriate time to discuss the topic. Taking some time to plan out when and where the conversation should be held is key for successful discussions about aging and long-life care. Make sure the environment is comfortable and that there are few distractions–no TV, phones, or other people around who could disrupt the conversation.
2. Start by focusing on the positives. Focus on the positive aspects of growing older. Point out the wisdom and experience that comes with age, or the exciting, new possibilities that lie ahead. These conversations can often feel intimidating or uncomfortable, so it is important to keep your tone light and friendly.
3. Be honest and open. Be sure to explain to your loved one why you want to discuss this topic and what you hope to gain from the conversation. Don’t be afraid to explain your own personal experiences or share your opinions and feelings. Even if you don’t agree on something, it’s important to remember to stay open and discuss matters calmly.
4. Listen and empathize. Listen carefully and thoughtfully to your loved one's concerns and worries. Show them that you understand and empathize with their thoughts and feelings. Make sure that they know that you are there for them, no matter what.
5. Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions in order to better understand their perspective. Ask them to explain their thoughts and feelings more in-depth. This will help you gain a better understanding of their point of view.
6. Offer solutions. Finally, you can offer concrete solutions for the issue. Suggest various resources or materials that can help them understand the issue better, or discuss possible plans or strategies that can help make the situation better. Ultimately, the goal is to help your loved one feel secure and comfortable with your decision.
Next step: Talk with your medical provider
After you’ve shared your vision for aging and long-term care with your loved one, your next step will be to talk with your doctor.
The information and services on this site do not constitute medical nor health care advice for any individual problem nor a substitute for medical or other professional advice and services from a qualified health care provider familiar with your unique facts.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and prior to starting any new treatment.