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Senior Care: When to Have the Talk

Talking with a senior about senior care options can be difficult, but when a loved one begins to experience cognitive or physical deteriorating,  it may become necessary.

Published: Feb 25, 2014

Senior Care: When to Have the Talk

The talk with an elderly loved-one about senior care can be a difficult conversation to have. However, if an elderly loved-one begins to experience physical and cognitive deterioration, it is generally a sign that having the talk is necessary. Although it is dreaded by many, it shouldn't be seen as an uncomfortable talk about the future but a way to improve the elderly loved-one's quality of life.

Fortunately, there are plenty of options available when it comes to senior care. Nursing homes, assisted living facilities, residential communities and in-home care are opportunities to find the right fit for the senior.  When determining the most appropriate option, consider the physical and mental functionality, and if the elderly loved-one has any medical issues, those will need to be factored into the senior care plan.

While nursing homes may be necessary if certain medical care and attention is needed, this option comes with less freedom and independence than other senior care facilities, although one positive is that the elderly loved-one will be close to medical care at all times.

Assisted living facilities offers housing to seniors who may be capable of functioning on their own, but offers health care close by if needed. Seniors in assisted living have the ability to come and go, cook for themselves and live fairly normally alongside other seniors.

Home care is a third senior care option and, fortunately, offers a customized care plan based on individual needs. Choosing home care for the elderly loved-one allows them to maintain their independence and receive care within the comfort of their own home.  Many senior care services are available and include companionship care, personal care services and specialized care. So whether the senior needs assistance with laundry, preparing meals, help with housework, transportation or support for a mental disorder, they now have the option of having a trained care professional come to their home to help them.

When talking with an elderly loved one about their care, some tips in coming to the right conclusion are to:

  • Listen to the wants and needs of the senior
  • Take into consideration and write down any concerns the senior may have
  • Discuss each option openly and encourage both the senior and family members to have an open mind
  • Account for any medical issues that may need addressed
  • Look at which option will offer the most comfort and support for the senior
  • Remain calm and keep the discussion as enjoyable and positive as possible
  • Know when to walk away. Every question may not get answered and every aspect of the care plan may not get figured out in one sitting. Continue to revisit the discussion until the right care is determined

The thing to remember is that while the right time to talk to a loved one about senior care is different for every family, choosing the right care will ensure they remain healthy and receive the quality of care they deserve.

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