Senior Care Conversation Starters for Reluctant Seniors
It often begins with the feeling that something just isn’t quite right; small but noticeable signs that a senior loved one may require some assistance to maintain safety at home. She may seem a bit more forgetful, or is walking more slowly and cautiously. Perhaps you’ve reached into the fridge for a drink and noticed old, expired food – or limited food choices that could indicate a problem with grocery shopping or meal preparation.
At Innovative Senior Solutions, providers of the top-rated professional senior care Albany GA families trust, we know how challenging it can be to initiate a conversation with an older loved one when changes such as these are noted. We also know that seniors are often reluctant to accept the need for using the services of an Adult Day Health Center or Personal Care Home, or seeking help at home. To assist family members with effectively communicating their concerns, we’ve compiled the following conversation tips to help overcome objections to senior care services.
Determine the best approach. Before broaching the subject of professional senior care, figure out whether a direct or indirect approach may be best, considering your loved one’s personality. Is she typically open to new ideas, or more guarded? If you’re unsure, try experimenting with a non-threatening question, such as simply, “How are you feeling today?” Then gauge her reaction to determine how to proceed.
Start with a positive. Regardless of the approach you decide to take, always begin with an upbeat tone. Find something positive to compliment the senior on, such as the newly blooming flowers in the yard or the blouse she’s wearing; or update her on some happy news, such as the new job your sister has been offered, or the upcoming graduation of one of the grandchildren.
Facing the issue head-on. If your senior loved one seems most receptive to a direct approach, initiate the conversation in a way that lets her know what you’re noticing, such as, “I see that your refrigerator is pretty empty. Are you having difficulty with grocery shopping?” or, “It seems like you’re struggling to get up from the chair, and with walking. Have you mentioned this to the doctor?” Be sure, however, to refrain from judgmental comments, such as, “How could you let the house get so cluttered? It looks awful!”
Easing into the discussion more carefully. For seniors who may become defensive, it can be helpful to use a more indirect approach, focusing on the needs of someone else in a similar situation, such as, “My neighbor was struggling to keep up with the housework after her surgery, and it was really bothering her. She decided to hire some help, and you should see her home now! What a difference!” or, “After my coworker’s husband passed away, she felt so lonely and isolated. Someone recommended an Adult Day Health Center, and now she’s enjoying life so much more.”
Understand that it often takes more than one conversation before a senior is willing to give professional senior care a try. If you experience reluctance, consider the first conversation as planting the seed, and give her some time to think through your suggestion. Then try again.
Innovative Senior Solutions can provide a free consultation to answer any questions and help alleviate any concerns about our professional senior care solutions. If your senior loved one can benefit from the most trusted senior care Albany GA has to offer, call us at 229-928-3673 or if you’re calling from out-of-town, call us toll-free at 866-928-3670.