Discussing the future with a loved one is not always easy. This is a subject that can get rather delicate. However, there are ways to approach this kind of discussion with the seniors around you, such as your parents.
Visavie offers you 3 tips here to help you discuss the future with your older relatives in a pleasant and positive way.
Tip # 1: Stay close to your elders to fully understand their needs
At what age is a person considered old? At what point are the seniors around us at risk of needing our help? The answers to these questions are difficult. Life expectancy keeps rising and it’s not uncommon to see people looking healthier than ever since their retirement age rolled around! Many older people have more than full activity schedules. Some even take advantage of this period to travel. After all, why not take advantage of it indeed!
Over time and with age, the risks of facing a health problem unfortunately become greater. These health problems can arise unexpectedly. For some, these problems may be minor. However, it remains possible that their autonomy may be affected. This is when you need to be particularly vigilant in order to properly identify the needs of the elderly near you. Staying close to your elders will help you understand them. Especially when it comes to your parents, you know them better than anyone else. So you are in the best position to recognize when they will need help. By being attentive to their needs and to the changes observed, you can then initiate the discussion with them at the right time. They will feel listened to and understood because you will offer them your help when they really need it. So stay tuned to changes in the everyday behaviors of your elderly parents. When you observe that the need is there, take the opportunity to initiate good discussions about their future. Listening should then be there!
Tip # 2: Discuss their expectations and wishes
Taking the time to chat with your senior relatives in an effective way means caring about what they really want! It is important not to neglect their expectations as well as their wishes. These discussions can be started quite early. Even before retirement age if possible. In fact, prevention is better than cure! Certain decisions may then be oriented in this direction. For example, is it better to keep the family home or instead think of a place that requires less maintenance? Or consider moving to an area closer to services or to a family member who can take care of them if needed?
Having a good discussion with your parents about their expectations and wishes then allows you to know how to react in the event of health problems, for example. And, having had this discussion with the elderly people around you in the past, it allows them to be involved in the final decision. They are therefore likely to live much more serenely with the decisions that will be taken since some of them will come from them. We know that these decisions are sometimes difficult to make when caring for a loved one. After all, we want both their well-being and their safety, but also their happiness!
Tip # 3: Dialogue without pressure to find solutions
When it comes to having a good discussion with an elderly person you know about their future, make sure it can be done without pressure. Despite all the goodwill, it can happen that you are lacking in tact when it comes to broaching such sensitive subjects. Make sure the elderly person you want to help feels comfortable; we want to prevent him from feeling constrained. Approach subjects with delicacy. Above all, we must avoid initiating the discussion by talking about the problems but rather think in terms of the solutions! Make sure that the dialogue is really one that allows a good exchange between the elderly person and yourself. Remember to be open! The main goal is to find the best possible solutions for your parents’ future. These solutions may come from you or directly from them. Either way, you need to discuss it together with understanding and prevent your loved one from feeling pressured into your approach. This is how you will find solutions that will allow your seniors to enjoy a better future!
In conclusion, to discuss the future with your elders, you have to stop and take the time. The closer you are, the more you will be able to understand their needs and initiate the right discussions at the right time. In addition, the dialogue must be oriented according to the wishes and expectations of the elders around you. It is important to involve them as much as possible in these decisions. Above all, these discussions must be conducted without pressure and in an atmosphere of openness and listening. And it is essential to approach the topics with a solution-oriented approach rather than a problem-oriented one!