Talking To Your Parents About Their Future Care
Helpful hints for talking to your parents about their future care
1. Plan ahead
It can be difficult to know when to talk to your parents about plans for their future. Generally, there is no time like the present; sweeping it under the carpet can lead to a stressful and panicked decision during the middle of a crisis.
It’s far easier to have a relaxed discussion around what care and support they would prefer whilst they are in good health and coping well. Take your time so they don’t feel under pressure to give an answer straightaway.
It might help to make a mental list of the topics you’d like to bring up like health, finances and housing.
2. Do your homework
Take the time to source information on the different care and support options available. Finding the right solution for you all is key.
Consider seeking advice from experienced organisations, like PPP Taking Care or Age UK, to receive personalised, practical and co-ordinated solutions, including how the health and social care system works, benefit entitlements and certain legal matters.
3. Go online
Go online to find the benefits of the latest technology on offer. Simple solutions, such as personal alarms, fall detectors and sensors around the home, can make a huge difference and provide your parents with the confidence to maintain their independence and 24/7 reassurance for you.
Consider a home assessment. These can provide invaluable advice on what aids and adaptations could make life easier. Many organisations, including PPP Taking Care, and charities offer a home assessment service and will visit your parent’s home to recommend improvements and specialist equipment to make the home safer and more suitable.
5. Listen to your parent’s opinion
It’s important you talk together as a family about potential situations that might arise and the challenges you may face. Put yourself in their shoes. Imagine a lifetime of looking after yourself and being in control; it’s often hard to recognise or accept you may need help and support to remain independent. For some this may go as far as complete denial of any problems associated with ageing and insist ‘we are managing’ and ‘we don’t need any help’. They might be scared or worried, so be patient.
Be honest about your concerns, so you don’t go away feeling you haven’t covered everything or reached the right agreements.
6. Different scenarios
Presenting different scenarios is often an effective approach and makes it easier to discuss potential issues you may encounter. It can be less threatening to think about it happening to someone else and consider what they would do in that situation.
7. Touchy subjects
Talking money with family is never fun, but it’s crucial not to shy away from it. Legal matters like Powers of Attorney and Wills are best agreed early and can only be entered into when an individual still has full mental capacity.
Unanswered money matters can hang over you and whilst it may be uncomfortable talking about it, it can put your mind at rest once its dealt with.
Remember: The more we can talk about the future, the more we can understand each other’s priorities and preferences and the easier it will be to prepare and feel happy you are following your parent’s wishes.
Don’t put the conversation off.
Remain independent and safe
For more information on how PPP Taking Care can give you peace of mind and help your loved ones stay independent in their own home call 0800 085 7371.