The holiday weekend is almost upon us! As families prepare to celebrate the upcoming 4th of July with picnics, fireworks and a few rousing games of Bocce ball, it’s also an important time to remember the people who make these moments so special. With burgers on the grill and good times abounding, it may not seem like the most practical moment to start a conversation about whether an elderly individual in your life is a candidate for long-term care; but having the talk before any problems arise is actually the smartest thing to do, because it allows both parties to speak candidly and openly about their wants and needs.
Here are a few helpful tips on how to get the conversation started this holiday weekend and beyond.
Assess your surroundings: Maybe you are visiting a relative or loved one you haven’t seen in a while; this weekend will be a good opportunity to access his or her living environment. Keep an eye out for disorganization, as well as a change in demeanor. If you are visiting his or her home, pay attention to the living conditions. Are the dishes piled high? Is their living space exceptionally messy? Many times, family members won’t discover there is a health concern until they visit for a holiday. That’s why checking on older relatives is important, despite time constraints.
Do your homework: Make sure you have a plan in place before talking to a loved one. Research your options and think about budget. How much is he or she willing to spend—and maybe more importantly, how much are you willing to spend? Bringing up the possibility of in-home care is an optimal solution for an elder who is adamant about staying in his or her home—which is not an uncommon occurrence.
Stay positive: It’s important not to mandate anything. Seniors want to know that their opinion matters, so engage them in conversation. Observe how receptive they are to various solutions. As a rule, it’s best to start the conversation in their home. So dropping by for the holiday may be a good time to sit down and see what may need to be done for future care.
Most importantly—spending time with your loved one or senior in your life can be the best plan of all this holiday weekend, regardless of where the conversation takes you. Enjoy being active and above all, enjoy spending time with one another. Happy 4th!