5 Ways to Make the "Care Conversation" Easier
" I think it's time to get you some help..."
It is probably one of the toughest conversations you will ever have with your loved ones. One that you would rather skip, I'm sure. But if you're helping an aging or ill loved one, it's a conversation that must be had.
But, how do you engage in this talk without it being so darn uncomfortable?
Well, if you follow these 5 simple steps the "Care Conversation" will surely be easier on everyone!
STEP #1 Talk When You Are Relaxed
This means that you have to wait for a time when you and your loved one are sitting back enjoying each other's company, not when you are arguing about who forgot to pay the bills or why the house is a mess. It has to be a time where you can approach the topic calmly and when no one feels threatened.
STEP #2 Ask Questions About Preferences
Ask your loved one what they would like out of a care arrangement. You can ask, "if you could have someone help you out around the house, what would you have them do?" Using their words when proposing care options let's your loved one know you have been listening to them and that the help will come on their terms, not yours.
STEP #3 Enlist the Help of Other Family Members
This step is tricky because you don't want your loved one to feel like he or she is being ganged up on, but if you have several people talking about the same thing in many different ways there is a better probability that someone will make a point your loved one will validate and agree with. Just make sure you emphasize that it is a conversation about care and not a 'gang nagging'.
STEP #4 Don't Assume Anything
We have all been there. We think we know a person so well we think we can determine how he or she will respond in any given situation. This may be true to some extent, but always ask anyway. The answers may totally surprise you!
STEP #5 Don't Give Up!
You may try everything and nothing works. But remember, tomorrow is another day. Just keep trying! Keeping looking for the 'right' moment to approach the topic, ask questions about their preferences for help, get family members to help you with the conversation and don't ever assume you know the answer.
Our loved ones are precious and all we want is to give them the help they need! Keep trying! Sooner or later, you will be successful!