Aged care can be a challenging topic to talk about. No matter if you’re talking to an older person, an aged care worker, a friend, a family member, or someone else entirely, there are many things you need to consider when discussing aged care. This is always true, no matter if you’re talking about a potential move into aged care, or simply talking about the sector overall.
St Johns Community Care provides a range of community care services, including aged care. We understand that any conversation about aged care can be difficult, but it is important not to be shy. As a community, we can make aged care less of a taboo and have meaningful, beneficial conversations that can really help those around us. Some tips for talking about aged care are outlined below.
Always be respectful
When it comes to ageing, everyone feels differently. Some people think about ageing in a positive light, while others may have complicated or mixed feelings about getting older. It’s essential that you are always respectful when talking about the concept of ageing, regardless of who you are talking to. It may help to put yourself in the position of an older person to understand how certain language may be perceived.
Consider topical aged care issues
Aged care is often in the media in Australia, and messages being shared through these channels can have an impact on how people feel about aged care. Remember that everyone’s thoughts and feelings are valid, but you should think twice before talking to older people about topics that could frighten, concern or confuse them.
Have private conversations in private
If wanting to talk about a particularly difficult or private topic with a friend or loved one, try to host that conversation in a private location. This will help you, and the other person, to feel more comfortable speaking openly. Some people are more private than others, so you need to be mindful of this and not start a tricky chat in a public place.
Be open minded and positive
When talking to an older person about the possibility of aged care, they may become upset or confused. It’s important that you’re open minded about their feelings, and be willing to adapt options based on what they would like to see happen. Your sensitivity can make a world of difference during these difficult conversations. Taking a positive and enthusiastic approach will help everyone feel more hopeful and joyful about what lies ahead.
Know that every family, and every individual, is different
No two stories are the same. Just because something worked for someone, it doesn’t mean it’s the best option for absolutely everyone. Fortunately, nowadays, there are a wide range of aged care services available, and many of them allow people to continue living independently in their own home. This type of service is called in-home support and it can be an option that suits those who want to maintain their independence. Other services may include transport, respite care, and supported accommodation. All of these options are offered by St John’s Community Care.