Maplewood, Sauk City, WI, Offers Tips Concerning Communicating with Aging Relatives

It seems our lives are so busy, the holidays are not the only time to check on your elderly relatives but it gives us the opportunity to check on parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. We need to observe how they take medications, eating habits, their cleanliness, behaviors what types of groceries they are buying, their mobility and their driving skills.

During the holidays everyone has an opportunity to talk about concerns that your elderly relative may have. Compare your notes with other relatives who may have concerns or have noticed issues that need to be addressed. By diagnosing a situation you can explore options to find a solution to discuss with them without telling them they have to do it.

As an adult child, it can be difficult with our aging parents about many sensitive subjects. You may need to assure them that you don’t want to take over their affairs; you just want to give them options to help ease any worries they may have. By letting them know you are concerned about an issue such as their driving or eating habits, you can provide a solution or offer other arrangements. You need to be prepared for them to disagree with you, but that is okay too.

Things to remember:
• Don’t judge
• Start with most concerning issues
• Just getting it out there lets them think about it.
• Be patient
• Let them give their opinion
• Let them know there are many options

It is a natural reaction for anyone to fear losing independence and become a burden. By talking about these concerns it may reduce the uncomfortable feelings or worries about not being able to live at home. Reassure them there are agencies to help with in-home care, enabling people to stay in their own homes longer.

• Educate yourself with the types of services available in your relative’s hometown and community.
• Try to meet these agencies face to face without your relatives. Discuss with the caregiver life style preferences, needs concerning transportation and any other needs. After you’ve narrow down the choices, visit them with your relatives or schedule a home visit.
• Word of mouth referrals are the best. Ask friends, physicians, ministers, religious organization or go on social media. They are a great source of information and you can discuss the pro and cons.

During the holidays, family get-togethers are a great time to talk about aging relative’s wishes. It gives family members the opportunity to be involved with choices and decisions. For more information, contact a Maplewood social services representative for more information or (608) 643-3383.