Having to talk to your aging loved one about the move into a memory care community can be very difficult as it elicits a range of emotions, including the frustration that comes with coping with the day-to-day complexities of living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Other emotions that are evoked include fear, sadness, and grief. Don’t know how to talk to your loved one about moving into a memory care community in Greenberry Hills, MD? Here’s how to go about it.
Have a Talk After a Diagnosis
Most aging adults with Alzheimer’s or dementia have already experienced a significant change in their way of life by the time they receive a diagnosis. So that the person can have a say in their own destiny, it is best to start the dialogue regarding memory care alternatives as soon as possible after a diagnosis before the disease progresses further. It will be better if your loved one feels more empowered and autonomous, even if you take them on tours to different memory care communities.
You should think of this as the first chat in a series of ongoing conversations rather than a single session in which all the decisions must be made unless your loved one immediately agrees (it does happen, but this is less typical). By doing this, more room is made for everyone to think through and accept the issue as it is.
Discuss the “What-Ifs” and the “What Are” First
Instead of starting the conversation by saying, “You need to move into a memory care community,” it could be better to ask important questions like,
- What would we do if something were to happen to me?
- What would you want if I could no longer take care of you emotionally or physically?
- What if we have to pay for options for long-term care? What choices are there?
- Which strategy gives you the best sense of security and care?
These inquiries will eventually lead to the memory care topic you intend to tackle. If the conversation proceeds naturally rather than suddenly, it may result in more open participation.
Be Clear About the Options Beforehand
You must be aware of your alternatives as the conversation’s facilitator in order to maintain the highest level of composure. It will be more difficult for you and your loved one to decide which course of action is ideal if you are uncertain or confused.
Find out as much as you can about your loved one’s financial situation and alternatives, including whether or not they have long-term care insurance, whether they qualify for veterans benefits, how much money they would receive if they sold their house or some of their estate, and so on. Of course, a lot of aging adults keep this information to themselves, so you’ll have to rely on your best guesses.
Listen Attentively to Your Loved Ones’ Concerns
Even though it seems so simple, responding quickly or strongly to “anticipated” opposition or arguments frequently requires active listening. Because you are also upset and grieved to be having this talk in the first place, this is also acceptable. As a result, the more you can create a setting where your loved one may express their fears, feelings, and concerns, the more helpful (and non-threatening) your reactions will be.