Conversation approaches for your elderly loved ones

When it comes to caring for an aging loved one there may be several difficult conversations that you must have regarding their ongoing care. Here are a few tips to prepare to be open, honest and not argumentative when discussing difficult topics like finances, legal preparation, and long term care with your elderly loved ones. You may want to choose one of the following approaches depending on the personality of the care recipient

  • Direct: If the care recipient is a ‘no-nonsense, get-to-the-point’ personality, openly express your concerns and ask questions for information you need to address specific situations that might arise.
  • Educational: For the relative who might need a delicate push, you might begin by sharing an experience of another caregiver you know about their own personal situation, and explain how it made you realize the importance of discussing issues now that will help you be of better assistance to them in the future.
  • Expert: For the relative who refuses to talk about personal issues or tends to accuse their children of trying to take control of their life, seek to make them the expert by asking for their advice about a particular issue — for example, “what type of long term care plan should I look into,” or “can you recommend someone to help me prepare my will.” This strategy is non-threatening and could lead to them sharing personal details, or at least letting you know where they stand on the subject.

For more information or to assist you or your loved one in eldercare issues, please contact for Browning Geriatric Consulting by clicking here for individual or family consultations.