It’s Not Just For Your Teenagers
Those of us known as the sandwich generation need to have ‘the talk’, but not just with our children. With our aging parents too. We are a unique generation of people, shouldered with the dual responsibility of raising well-rounded individuals and caring for our aging parents. It can be a trying time for all three generations involved, and communication is key to maintaining healthy relationships and preserving family dynamics.
What is ‘the talk’ with your parents? It’s the discussion about deciding to no longer live alone and moving to some sort of senior living community. Many seniors struggle with this decision for a variety of reasons: they fear sacrificing their independence; they don’t want to sell the family home; they don’t want to purge their possessions; they don’t want to be reminded of their mortality. All of these are valid concerns. And no situation that prompts this discussion should be construed as a failure on the part of the aging parent. The goal is to help your loved one come to a decision and make a plan that best suits their needs.
The best time to bring up the conversation with your aging parent? Before a health emergency. However, it’s a hard subject to broach. But bringing it up before it’s necessary makes it seem like more of a hypothetical situation, and it’s much easier to talk about. It’s important to emphasize that you want to have their needs met, and you can only do that if they clearly communicate their needs to you. Point out that you aren’t trying to force your will on them.
Be sure to do your own research before bringing your aging parent into the conversation. Too many options and unanswered questions can be quite overwhelming, so help them wrap their mind around such a big decision. Now more than ever, there are a variety of options to consider. It’s also important to think of this as a fluid decision process, rather than a static one. The first decision might not meet their needs for their duration. This decision might progress down the care pipeline, so ensure that everyone remains flexible about future decisions too.
Feel free to contact us if you would like more information about your options or any info about our caregivers.