Having Important Conversations

Talking to your loved one about the possibility of home care is not easy. Often children and spouses delay these conversations until the issue becomes pressing. As dreadful as it might feel discussing the realities at hand, being prepared and open before the situation becomes critical can save you endless heartache and yes, money. Decisions made in haste are not always efficient or sound. Here we offer some advice in discussing home care with the person in your life.

Plant the Seed

This is an expression that basically means, introducing an idea without pushing for an agenda. You “plant the seed” of the idea in the mind of your loved one; in this case, that they might start thinking about the kind of support they need at home. Avoid being condescending; never approach them as if you know better.

Do Your Research

It is an enormous help to do research in advance on any aspects of the health issues at hand. When you are better informed, it will reassure your loved one that you are trying to understand their needs when you speak to them.

Please also see “is home care right for me”, and “how to select a home health agency”.

Find an Ally

You don’t have to do this alone. Having a sibling or a doctor or even a close friend with you when you raise the issue can help you to steer the conversation in productive ways.

Keep Them Engaged

It is important that your loved one feel as if they are a part of the process; that they have agency, and a say, in decisions being made. This way they do not feel helpless. Perhaps they can help with research. Include them.

Take Feedback Seriously

It may seem that your loved one does not have a clear view of things, or that they can’t make the right decisions under stress. It can still help enormously to validate their input. When they talk about their needs, listen. It may very well end up saving you money or hassles later.

Show Empathy

Put yourself in their shoes. Do your best to sympathize with how your loved one may be feeling in this situation as it can help you better understand how to handle it. Compassion is different from pity and has healing effects.

Mind Your Tone

Tone of voice matters. If we are kind, respectful and compassionate it will come out in our voices. Mind your own, to avoid unnecessary discomfort for your loved ones.