In our first Holiday Series article, we discussed how holiday gatherings provide the perfect opportunity to assess your aging parent. Children are often troubled when a parent has displayed the common symptoms of needing assistance. New questions arise regarding your parent that you’ve never needed to consider.
The first step in assessing your parent’s need is to make a list of the changes in behavior and appearance you’ve noticed.
Dr. Robert Kane, a geriatric expert discusses the important of picking battles in his book, “The Good Care Giver”. Your parent may not have the same standards of living that you hold for yourself. However, if you’re concerned about your parent’s physical or mental health, you should address your concerns.
How Do I Tell My Parent?
Discussing a poorly cared for home or declined grooming with your parent may be daunting. It’s important to address these issues at the appropriate time and place as well as with the level of respect your parent deserves.
If you notice these conditions during a holiday gathering, wait to discuss the issue with your parent.
Your parent may be experiencing a wide variety of emotions regarding their decline in ability to care for themselves. No one wants their loved ones being confronted with uncomfortable emotions during times meant for celebration and merriment. Set up a private time, after the festivities are over, to discuss the behaviors that concern you.
It’s important that you are calm and collected when you discuss your concerns. To help you prepare for the conversation:
- Bring your list of changes in behavior and living condition. If your list includes “small battles”, discuss these items last.
- Be open to listening and trying to understand the situation and emotions behind the changes you discuss. Showing empathy towards your parent helps comfort them that your concerns are being addressed with compassion and love.
- Stay cool, calm and collected. If you’re concerned how your parent will respond to you addressing their changes in behavior, enlist help. Discuss the changes you’ve noticed with family members and other loved ones. Ask them to join your conversation.
What Type of Help Does My Parent Need?
Finding the right type of assistance for your parent can be time consuming. Determining the most appropriate type of care, how insurance and personal finances will be impacted as well as how to
A Geriatric Care Manager can assist your family in navigating the choices for your aging parent. In her New York Time’s article, Jane Gross shares how a Geriatric Care Manager helped solved a series of complex problems that seemed impossible to handle alone. A Care Manager provides experience in in both services and service providers in your parent’s area. A Geriatric Care Manager can also act as your “eyes and ears” if you live far away from your aging parent.
If you and your parent are looking for care solutions in 2016, Care Assist Solutions provides a variety of senior services with an individualized approach.