How to Have the Difficult Conversation

It is never easy to discuss the move into aged care, but it is a conversation that ideally happens with a loved one before the big decision that ideally happens with a loved one before the big decision needs to be made in a hurry.

Feelings of uncertainty, of not being heard and anxiety can occur on both sides of the conversation, so we suggest choosing a time when your loved one is relaxed  and even in a reflective mood about the great life journey they’ve had so far.

Everyone wants a sense of self determination and to be treated with dignity, and many elderly patients fear going into aged care as if the meaningful part  of their life is over. So however you approach it, making sure they know that they will remain a constant part of our lives is a must, along with the variety of opportunities on offer at a care home.

Your relationship with your parent or loved one will largely determine the terms of how you actually broach this.

Maybe you could approach it as a matter of their quality of life and ask them to think about some of the following questions.

  • Are you being socially isolated?
  • Are you getting out to your old clubs and commitments that you normally had within the community?
  • Are you taking the pills as the doctor has prescribed?

Perhaps use this time to highlight some of the changes that you and your family have seen that your loved one may not even be aware of.

Another thing to think about is whether or not they are doing their usual amount of excercise. Often the elderly reduce their exercise because of a fear of falling. Falling is not a natural occurance for an old person. It happens when a person is a little unsure of where and how they are walking.

It is often beneficial to visit your loved one’s health professional, GP or district nurse who might be able to provide support by explaining the benefits they could enjoy from the care, support and social interaction available at an aged care home. Sometimes having a person who isn’t as emotionally invested as a family member can bring further clarity.

Following that, encourage your loved one to tour an aged care home, meet some residents and see for themselves what life could be like for them there.