Mom is showing signs of mental slowing. Dad’s arthritis leaves him barely able to walk. Their need for at-home care is becoming more evident, but you dread “the conversation.”
With all your siblings gathering over the holidays, it is time to discuss adult home care for your parents. But where do you start?
Right at Home has developed RightConversations, a comprehensive guide and support materials to help families effectively communicate about older loved ones’ health needs and develop caregiving plans. The invaluable RightConversations toolkit offers step-by-step tips, pertinent questions and dialogue samples to help concerned family members:
- Gather information. Observing firsthand the daily activities that an elder struggles with will help determine practical support options. Going with the loved one to a doctor appointment also can narrow the facts.
- Work as a team with siblings. Each sibling is a stakeholder in securing the best care for your loved one, even those family members who may veto decisions. Joining together means putting self-interests aside to focus on the priority of the aging parent’s or relative’s well-being.
- Listen instead of ambush. Engaged listening ensures your loved one that you truly care and value his or her feelings and preferences. The goal is to partner and talk through solutions, but first you must acknowledge and respect your elder’s words.
The RightConversations guide and support materials are available to download for free, including the Communication Planner for gathering key information on the senior’s overall condition; the Family Action Planner to list tasks for each family member and service provider; and the Information Journal for tracking details from insurance and finances to medications and care wishes.
The right dialogue at the right time can set a foundation for your loved one to remain safe and happily independent at home. We are here to help, one conversation at a time.
Get the RightConversations℠ Guide
RightConversations is a practical approach for effective communication between you and your loved ones. Often, families find it hard to discuss the changing needs of their aging parents. The tools included in the RightConversations Guide offer a starting point for the conversation and provide you with the opportunity to reduce caregiver stress while helping loved one remain in the comfort of their homes.
For more information and helpful videos, please visit Right at Home's RightConversations Resource Center.
WHAT DO YOU THINK: What concerns do you have about talking through care needs with your older loved ones?
An award-winning journalist who has documented stories in nearly 20 countries, Beth Lueders is an author, writer and speaker who frequently reports on diverse topics, including aging and health issues for both U.S. and international corporations.