How to Talk to Elderly Parents About Their Health

Talking to older people about difficult topics can be tough, particularly if they’re reluctant to acknowledge any issues or accept help. When it comes to health matters, however, it’s essential to address the subject. If you want to ensure your loved ones have the support they need, take a look at these four top tips and begin speaking to your elderly parents about their health today:

Let Them Know You Want to Help

Elderly relatives often fear being a burden, which means they may not ask for help when they need or want it. Of course, this can be frustrating for loved ones who are eager to provide support. Let your parents know that you want to assist them and encourage them to confide in you about health concerns. When they feel able to talk freely, you’ll be able to get a more accurate insight into how they’re really coping. 

Ask for Their Opinion

It’s easy to assume that we know what’s best for our parents but, even if you do, it’s important to let them have their say. Instead of deciding their living arrangements for them or telling them what type of help they need, open up collaborative discussions and let them share their views. 

If your parents have been reluctant to acknowledge their need for help, there might come a time when you need to take a firmer stance. However, keeping the lines of communication open and being willing to hear what they have to say is a critical way of respecting their feelings. 

Provide a Range of Solutions

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When an issue arises, talk to your parents when you’re armed with a range of solutions. From practical support around the house to live in care, there are a variety of ways to help elderly people. You might already have an idea of what the best solution is but providing a range of options will help your relatives to feel like they’re in control. Often, a friendly discussion is far more effective than a battle of wills when it comes to persuading elderly parents to accept help. 

Attend Medical Appointments

Ask your parents if they’re happy for you or another family member to attend medical appointments with them. More often than not, they’ll be pleased that you want to help them in this way. As well as providing practical support, such as transport to and from an appointment, your presence will ensure that all the salient details are captured. Furthermore, you’ll be able to speak with your parents’ physicians, ask questions and find out more about their well-being. 

Becoming a Carer for Older Relatives

Virtually all of us need more support as we get older, so it’s not unusual for adult children to take on the role of caregiver to their parents. However, it’s important to assess the impact this has on your own well-being. Being a caregiver can be challenging, no matter how much you love the person. By taking time for yourself, arranging for additional care to be provided and creating a workable plan, you can ensure that your parents have all the support they need as they get older. 

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