How to talk to your siblings about senior care

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Comfort Keepers

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Jun 13, 2024

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Florida - Southwest

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How to talk to your siblings about senior care

Caregiving can be a rewarding experience, and an opportunity to give back some of the care and compassion received earlier in life. As we watch family members age, it can bring up big emotions and challenges. It's hard to see an aging parent loved ones growing older and in need of help. Especially when it comes to having the initial conversation about options like in-home care. 

Having that first conversation about a loved one and their needs can be challenging, but it should be done sooner rather than later. As a person ages, their ability to make decisions may diminish. For a decision as important as this one, everyone in the family should feel heard. 

Steps for a Successful Family Care Conversation 

Step 1: Plan the Conversation

As the saying goes, seeing is believing. Phone calls don't always convey the complete picture of the situation. How can your family make this easier? Try to pick a date and time when you can get the whole family together and in person for this vital conversation. If it’s impossible to get your family together in person, a video call can be a great alternative. 

Try not to wait for an accident or medical emergency before addressing the future – after all, it is always harder to think clearly and make decisions in moments of crisis.  

There are many different options for in-home care, and information can help find a solution that is the best fit. Start your research to see what you think is best for you and your family. 

Step 2: Share concerns from a place of love  

Although this can be intimidating, staying calm and taking breaks is important. The initial conversation is to understand each other and begin to set goals together as a family. 

Have the necessary paperwork or documents to help everyone in the family. Share any stories or anecdotes from the older family member’s doctors or friends will be helpful as well. It's easier for everyone to understand the situation when medical records illustrate important care concerns. If the older member of the family expresses interest in staying in their home as they age, then in-home care may be the right choice for them. 

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Seniors who use home care services report 25% fewer doctor's visits than those who do not. [AM1] 

Step 3: Talk it out 

Make sure you give everyone time to speak; everyone might not always agree during this process but respecting each other and staying level-headed is key. Ultimately a good rule of thumb is to ask a lot of questions. Ask siblings and family members for their thoughts and what they think about getting an aging parent in-home assistance, and ask the loved one their desires for this next step in life. 

What to do after the first conversation? Give it some time, and make sure everyone has collected their thoughts from the initial discussion.  

Every family is different. Don't feel discouraged if a few conversations are needed before everyone is comfortable moving to the next step. It can take some time for siblings and family members to come around; just remember to be patient and make sure everyone has a clear understanding of their role and responsibility in this decision.  

Here's a resource to help define the roles when moving forward. 

Comfort Keepers® Can Help

Comfort Keepers caregivers can help with encouragement, support, and assistance with daily living. Caregivers can encourage overall health through meal planning, grocery shopping, meal preparation, and activities. Our custom care plans focus on physical and mental health and wellness activities. Our goal is to see that clients have the means to find joy and happiness each day, regardless of age or understanding.

To learn more about our in-home care services, contact your local Comfort Keepers location today. 

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