Holidays and tough conversations – Part II

Last time,  I wrote about the changes in an aging loved one’s emotional and physical health that family members might notice at the holidays.  If a face-to-face holiday visit is the first one in a number of months, a decline in health may be both obvious and startling.

The prospect of a difficult conversation can be so daunting that the conversation is postponed. It can be tempting to try to delude yourself that a decline is a temporary setback when you actually know that it isn’t or that nothing needs to be discussed right now because there is no crisis — yet.

In fact, the most valuable action is to start a conversation, which is likely to be the first of many.  Sometimes the conversation is not as bad as the dread of it and it is a relief to the older person to start to address his or her changing needs.  Often the conversation that is started earlier rather than later will allow for a deeper exploration of preferences and a wider review of options.

Posted in Elder Mediation, Friday, November 27th, 2009

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