3 Uncomfortable Conversations You Need to Have with an Aging Parent

Author: Hilary Eldridge

Caregivers in Suwanee GA

As your mom or dad gets older it may get more difficult for them to care for themselves. From their physical or mental limitations to their finances, you or other family members will most likely have to step in and help. But what do you do when your loved one does not seem to realize that they need help?

Bringing up the following topics are difficult to do, but it is important that they are discussed with the elder before they become unable to communicate their feelings with you. These tips will help take the stress out of poaching the uncomfortable, but necessary conversations.

  1. Finances. Since your loved one no longer gets a regular paycheck from their job, they are most likely on a fixed income. Not only will the elder need to budget their expenses, but it is also important that they are remembering to pay their bills on time. Sit down with your loved one and gather all important financial documents in order to get a better sense of what their bank account looks like, as well as how many bills they have.
  2. Discuss power of attorney. When some elders hear the term "power of attorney," they automatically assume that they are giving up their rights to taking care of their own finances. This could not be further from the truth. Let your parent know that they need to decide who will take on this role in case they are physically or emotionally incapable of doing so in the future.
  3. Watch for signs of depression. Older adults who live alone may suddenly find themselves lonely and isolated from their family members, friends, and neighbors. This loneliness could result in depression. When visiting your loved one or talking to them on the phone, watch or listen for any possible signs of depression, such as being socially withdrawn, a change in weight, or appearing to be sad more than happy. If your loved one needs a companion, you may also want to consider hiring caregivers who will be able to spend each day with them, while also providing care for them.

Older adults often have a difficult time admitting that they need help or someone to care for. These three ideas may be able to give you a place to start when it comes to bringing up these topics.



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