Articles - Special
How do you tell your elderly mom that you’re worried about her living alone? How do you talk to dad about his driving abilities? How do you ask Grandma if she leaves the stove on?
Plan the Conversation
One of these ways may help to break the ice for you and your family:
Dealing with Resistance
Some resistance to talking about independence is normal. Respect your parents’ feelings if they make it clear they want to avoid a subject and only push the issue if health or safety is at risk. Act firmly, but with compassion and involve people your parents respect, such as a minister, or a family friend. Make sure your parents feel involved by listening and recognizing their opinions and their right to make decisions. Consider services to help a parent remain independent, such as home care or meal delivery.
Focus on Key Points
Guessing your parents’ wishes for their future can lead to bad mistakes and hard feelings, ask them instead:
Keep It Positive
Talking to parents doesn’t mean you are “parenting” them. Be prepared to let your parents make their own choices, even if you don’t agree with them. As long as they are not impaired with Alzheimer’s or other dementia, your parents have the right to make their own decisions. Growing older does not give up that right.