Aging parents have to go through a lot of physical and psychological changes, all of which may not even be welcoming. It’s good to talk to your parents about this so that they feel comfortable and know they have your back. You may want to avoid the conversation, but it is better to get over with it before anything happens.
Just keep one thing in mind: you’d be discussing huge and notable changes with your parents, so it’ll probably take more than one conversation, which often times.
Here are some tips to make the conversation easier for you.
- Develop an outline so that you know exactly what you want to talk about, and won’t drift away from the topic. This also helps you in organizing all your thoughts and remembering the main points during the conversation.
- Focus on the most important things first, and center the conversation on them. These include freedom, safety, social connections and peace of mind.
- Think from your parent’s perspective. Assure them that you understand their feelings and needs, and can help them out.
- When talking to your parents, listen to them empathically, letting them know that you understand what they are saying.
- Involve other people in your family as well, asking them to contribute to the discussions.
- Tall to your parents somewhere quiet, and when both of you have plenty of time and nothing to do.
- Don’t force anything on your parents during the conversation. Give them time to adjust and ask them to act on your advice. For instance, if you want your parents to give up driving, explain why it’s not safe for them or others, provide them with some alternate options and then ask them to stop.
- Start the conversation casually, and then proceed to what you want to talk about.
Your parents may not take to these conversations nicely, but you’ll have to give it multiple shots before you succeed.