It’s not always easy to think about or to talk about the future, especially if some of the aspects of that future are a little bit scary for you and your senior. But ignoring those potentialities doesn’t make them go away. It’s a lot better to have those tough conversations now.
Current Events Are a Good Jumping Off Point
Current news and human-interest stories are an excellent way to start a conversation with your elderly family member about what she wants and what’s facing her in the future. You can start to collect some of these articles or simply make note of them and mention them to your senior in passing. These are a great way to address the “what ifs” that might be worrying both you and your senior.
Do Some Research Together
If your elderly family member is up for having these conversations with you, it might be a good idea to do some research together. Finding new information together can help her to feel involved in the process, whereas if you’re bringing a lot of information to her she might feel a bit left out. Be careful not to overwhelm either her or you with too much information all at once, though.
What Works about Her Home?
If your elderly family member is planning to age in place, you need to get serious about her home. What’s working now and what isn’t? You also need to pay some close attention to her existing health issues and how those are likely to change at some point in the future. Those changes may dictate some necessary changes in her living situation and your senior needs to be prepared for that eventuality now.
What’s Going on with Her Health?
Just as you need to take a closer look at what’s working in your senior’s home, you need to pay attention to what’s working right now in terms of her health. Current chronic health issues may not have a tremendous impact on her living situation or on other variables, but what are your senior’s plans if that changes? That needs to be something that you and she talk about now, while you’re able to do so.
All of these topics are so much easier to address now rather than in a crisis. If you’ve got information about what your senior wants, it’s going to be much easier for you to make the changes you need to make, bring in senior care providers, and ensure that your elderly family member’s wishes are being met.