Holidays and tough conversations – Part III

In Parts I and II, I wrote about the holidays as a time when families might be together face to face for the first time in a number of months. Changes that might not have been obvious on the telephone become clear or statements from a local sibling that Mom needs more help may be hard to ignore when seeing her in person. The idea of having a conversation about an aging loved one’s needs can itself be hard to face. Yet starting to talk about current and future living arrangements, care, and safety is essential.

How and where to start? Start with immediate needs.  Address what must be done right away to improve or maintain the situation.  It is probably not necessary to decide everything at once.  Start with a genuine conversation, not an ultimatum or an intervention.  Try to find out as much as possible about what the elderly person’s preferences and dislikes are.  Then you can start to identify and analyze the options.

Posted in Elder Mediation, Saturday, November 28th, 2009

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