Perhaps you have noticed your parents slowing down or losing their ability to complete tasks, or perhaps a specialist or medical professional has advised a need for change. Either way, talking to your parents about aged care services or assisted living can be a daunting prospect.
As their child, you may feel conflicted between wanting your parent to keep their independence but also wanting them to have a safe and fulfilling future. Thankfully, with the wide range of aged care services now available in Australia, it’s possible for your elderly loved ones to keep control and independence in their lives while getting the care their ageing body needs.
At St John’s Community Care, we have assisted thousands of families as they transition into care services, and aged care support is one of our primary services to the community. Ultimately, you will know the best way to have the ‘assisted living conversation’ with your ageing parents, but below are some key pieces of advice from our team.
- Consider all options.
There is no singular correct way for an elderly person to gain the support they need. If it is basic domestic support that is required, your parent may have the option of in home support services before or instead of transitioning to a care facility. In home care can help with tasks like domestic assistance, one-to-one social support, home and garden maintenance, personal care, transport and respite. If a medical professional has recommended the latter rather than the former, there is likely to be a range of aged care facilities available in your area. Therefore, you and your loved one will be able to select between a variety of options to ultimately find an accommodation and care provider that suits their needs.
- Keep them involved with decisions.
Further to the above point, you should involve your loved one in the aged care decision-making process so they can have a say in how their future looks.
- Listen without judgement.
Understandably, losing mobility and strength can be a frightening experience. When their lack of agility is being recognised by others, this can be embarrassing or worrisome for your parents. It’s incredibly important that you are patient and respectful when having this conversation with your loved ones.
- Use a positive tone and language.
Reassurance and guidance will help your parents to feel more comfortable and optimistic about the next phase of their life. The best aged care providers will support your parents to live a rewarding and fulfilling life, so there is no need to be negative or downbeat.
- Sooner is better than later.
If your elderly loved ones need care, it is essential that you acquire the help of an aged care organisation soon to avoid accidents or problems down the line. When it comes to starting the conversation, the hardest part is actually getting started. Delaying or deferring the topic won’t make the discussion go away.