Tips to Discuss Senior Care Options

Approaching the subject of senior care support can be difficult, especially if the senior has a mental illness.  It is estimated that nearly 20% of the senior population has a mental illness such as dementia, bipolar disorder, and depression.  The adult children of these seniors often feel extra stress as caregivers and eventually seek care support.  But bringing up the subject can be challenging.

But there are some ways that you can ease the tension.

  1. Start calm.  Emotions may get high as the conversation progresses, but it’s best to begin when everyone is in a relaxed state.  It will ensure that everyone actively listens to what is being said, which will lead to a more effective interaction.
  2. Keep communication flowing.  If tensions begin to rise, ease the conversation in a less inflammatory direction.  You may be met with emotional outbursts.  Keep calm and stay focused.
  3. Back off.  If the senior becomes completely resistant, take a step back and try again later.  Also, if you begin to become emotional, postpone the discussion.  At that point, everyone will stop listening anyway.
  4. Talk to a lawyer.  If the senior is a danger to himself or others, it is time to get power of attorney to get him the care he needs.

Although it may be a difficult discussion to initiate, keep in mind that when the senior is getting the necessary care he or she deserves, it will be less stressful for everyone.