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Having “The Talk” with your Aging Parents

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If you are in the 40-60 year old category this blog might be of interest to you…if not, wait until you get there and read it then!

Unfortunately all our parents are getting older so when is the best time to have “the talk” with them and what is the best way to approach the topic?.

As we all know, aging parents are very sensitive when it comes to people trying to interfere in their lives…after all, they lived their whole life the same way so why change it now ?.

So there is a very fine line between being “concerned” about their well-being and being “controlling”.

After all, there are many aging parents who are still able to perform all their usual activities very well, so trying to point out they’re getting older and they should change some things in their lives might hurt their feelings…and older we get, more sensitive we become.

So starting to talk to them about getting someone to help them with their day to day tasks, or “casually” leaving on their coffee table a brochure from a care facility (independent or assisted living), might not be the best way to go, as this could get them upset and make them avoid discussing about this matter with you even more.

If you see or hear of some troubling things happening in their life (i.e. depression, wandering in the neighbourhood, midnight calls about someone being in their home etc), these could be early signs of dementia (the most common form being the Alzheimer’s Disease) and then immediate measures have to be taken as their safety is at risk.

However if you see signs of them just getting old, like their house is not as clean as it is used to be, their fridge is full of frozen products instead of the usual nice home cooked meal (remember the great lasagna mom used to make and now you see the frozen supermarket one ?), if you are returning from a walk with them and they go towards the opposite direction of their home, if you notice them repeating themselves and asking you questions you just answered a few minutes ago, then you have to, no matter what, start a conversation with them about getting outside help.

After all, this might be the best solution for them, as if you ask 100 seniors, 99 of them would definitely prefer to stay in their own homes, than to move from their house where they lived all their lives in, to a new place in a facility they have absolutely nothing in common with.

And you might be surprised some aging parents want to (or will get used to and will actually like it) have a person helping them clean their house, cooking a meal, taking them out for a walk and you might even get jealous that person, in time, will have a better connection with your parents than you, their own child, do.

And this is not a bad thing in the end as us, their children, have our busy lives to deal with, as our families, friends, jobs, personal or professional commitments etc. don’t allow us to spend as much time with our parents as we would want to.

Also another advantage of having a caregiver visiting our parents is that sometimes seniors are very hesitant to discuss their problems with their family, but they tend to open up much easier to someone who is not part of the family, but is close enough to listen and to care for them.

Anyway, lots of things to discuss here, but we don’t want to bore you too  much about this, but if you are interested to learn more, please email us at info@justlikefamily.ca and we will be more than happy to answer any other questions you might have.

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