As much as you may rely on information and articles online (such as this one!) for help on all things related to care, don’t forget that a core part of making arrangements for your loved one must be discussed with your family and relatives. This holiday season, make it your goal to have a healthy, effective and also enjoyable conversation about caregiving and the needs of your loved ones around the holiday table or cozy fire:
1.) Focus on the good times
Discussing serious issues such as a loved one’s need for constant care, you and your family should realize that this is simply a part of life, and that it is important to respect your family member’s individuality and uniqueness throughout the process. Given this, always find time to look back on the good times you’ve had together, and how lucky you all are to have them in your lives. Get out a family album, put on some family videos and of course, make new memories during this special time with your loved one too!
2) Practice active listening
The best conversations happen between people who aren’t good speakers – but good listeners! Try out some “active listening” techniques, like avoiding interruption. Meanwhile, take good mental notes to make sure any rebuttal or comments you have are saved for when the family member speaking is finished and has completed their thoughts. The best part is that you’ll be much more likely to avoid conflict if you give everyone their time, and avoid any misunderstandings!
3) Troubleshoot, but never argue
Any family discussion, no matter how close and loving the family is, can lead to fights and unnecessary tears. Some families tend to yell at one another during serious conversations, and of course, this can occur when discussing care options for elder loved ones. It is a sensitive topic, and there is no doubt that it can be stressful for everyone involved. Our advice? Use your indoor voice, and as mentioned before, think before you speak.
4) If Possible, Save the Conversations for Later
While it may seem convenient to fit in a conversation about care options for your loved one during the holidays, consider doing it at a less hectic time so you can focus on the holidays and being with your loved one above all. Once you have a chance, schedule a time and place to have the talk with your relatives. As a tip, loop in your caregiving agency if possible to have a sit-down conversation where the agency representative or care coordinator can moderate! This way, you’ll have a much more effective conversation
Above all, remember that the more you can work out the most pressing matters now, the easier it will be to work out potential issues down the road. Happy Holidays!
Maggie Drag is the owner and founder of a homecare agency located in central Connecticut. With over 27 years of experience in the industry, Maggie shares her knowledge and tips about care at home. Visit www.homecare4u.com to learn more about Maggie Drag.