Tips for Effective Communication with Elderly Parents

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Better Communication with Aging Parents

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Learning how to communicate well with an elderly parent can make a huge difference in both your rapport and his or her decisions regarding any health issues. Every person is different, but there are a few basic techniques that encourage respectful conversations about personal health or any other topic. The staff at Home Care Assistance Scottsdale has a few tips for how to communicate better with your aging loved one.

Keep the Conversation Two-Sided

You’ll have a more effective conversation with your loved one about improving the latter years of life if you offer options instead of telling him or her what needs to be done. Express your concerns and give your loved one the respect of listening to his or her response without interruption. Instead of questions that only require a yes or no answer, ask open-ended questions that generate conversations.

Explain the Reason for Your Discussion

Voice your concerns to your loved one and let him or her know you want to ensure he or she lives a high-quality life. Mentioning you want to do what you can so he or she ages with dignity and grace can make your loved one more comfortable and willing to discuss sensitive age-related topics with you.

Let Go of the Need to Be Right

Even if your gut and heart are telling you you’re right about what your loved one needs, he or she might disagree with you. Don’t use a firm tone to make your point because it could result in alienation. Respect your loved one’s wishes unless his or her safety or health is at stake.

Relinquish Control

Think about how important it is for you to make decisions about your own life. Even though you’re concerned about your loved one, remember he or she deserves the same courtesy. The only time you may need to help manage some of your loved one’s life decisions is if he or she has an age-related mental or physical disorder. If this is the case, you’ll need to find the balance between independence and safety in a respectful way that will still allow your loved one to have as much control as possible over his or her own life.

Communication with your loved one as he or she ages involves various sensitive topics, but one important subject that may come up is caregiving. Though your loved one may initially resist the idea, he or she can benefit from having an in-home caregiver in many ways. At Home Care Assistance, we offer 24/7 and part-time care in Scottsdale, and our caregivers can offer your loved one emotional support, assist with walking and mobility, and help with a wide array of daily tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and bathing. For more information, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at 480.448.6215 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.