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How to Give Unpleasant News to Senior Parents

Relaying bad news to your aging parents can be tough at times. However, it is a duty you may have to do as a caregiver, and it is important to remember your parents need you when they receive upsetting news. While you might not be able to shield your parents from being hurt, you can use these strategies for telling your loved one something he or she doesn’t want to hear.

Gather Your Facts

It is important to put your story together before you talk with your parents because they will likely ask several questions. For example, your parent may want to know about possible treatment options after a bad health diagnosis or how to live without his or her spouse. Spend a little time getting all of the information together, since being informed can help you convey the message and calm your parent’s fears.

Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality senior home care. Summit families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.

Recruit Support

When you don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, you can bring in others to take some of the burden off of your shoulders. It can be anyone your loved one trusts such as a caregiver or your siblings. Then, talk it over before having your discussion. Having support increases the chances of a positive outcome, and many families rely on professional caregivers for such support.

In Summit, NJ, respite care is a great help to many families. Caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times, which puts family caregivers at risk for burnout. However, an in-home caregiver can take over your loved one’s care, allowing you the time you need to focus on your own health, maintain a full-time job, or care for other members of your family.

Give Them Time

Although you’ve spent a lifetime with your aging parents, you may not know how they will react to bad news. For some seniors, it is embarrassing to show emotion in front of their adult children because they feel like they have to put on a brave face at all times. If your loved one needs some privacy, give it to him or her but stay nearby. Respect his or her reaction, and remember tough conversations don’t have to be handled all at once. You can revisit the topic later when your loved one has had some time to figure out how to handle the news.

Let Your Parents Talk

Seniors with cognitive disorders such as dementia may need additional assistance with processing the information. However, you must allow your loved one to talk so you can gauge his or her readiness for understanding. For instance, your loved one may suddenly start asking for his or her spouse who has passed away, but you are unsure about whether or not to mention the spouse is not coming back. By letting your loved one talk a little more about the subject, you can decide how much information he or she is ready to handle.

A dementia diagnosis can be difficult for seniors and their families to face. If you need help caring for your aging loved one while he or she manages the challenges of dementia, turn to Home Care Assistance of Summit. Dementia care isn’t the only thing we specialize in. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers are also trained to assist seniors during stroke recovery and help those living with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s maintain a higher quality of life. To create a customized dementia care plan for your aging loved one, call one of our friendly Care Managers at 908.450.9400 today.