Difficult Conversations with a Loved One

Is There Another Perspective?

There’s nothing like a new year to inspire us to be healthier, to get those projects done, to break an old habit or start a new one. A fresh start.

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Listening – A Lost Art

In life we are all faced with many challenging situations. Managing family dynamics, experiencing a health crisis, job stress and more. Whether you are trying to help others or facing your own personal challenges, the key to effectively managing situations is all about communication, and it starts with listening differently.

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Your Parent has Memory Loss: Are your Expectations Realistic?

My mother has some memory loss. Though it’s hard to admit, I know she’s no longer safe on her own. Whether I hire someone to come in to help her or consider making a move, I want her to be a part of the decision. But she’s not willing to talk about it. I’m not sure what more I can do.

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Postponing What Is Inevitable: Making a Decision About Aging Parents

There are some decisions in life where we're able to take the easy way out. It may not be the best answer but it will suffice for now, it won't hurt anyone, and when we have a full plate already it's just easier. Then there are times when that's not possible. We wish the right answer was the easy one, but it's not. This is often the case when dealing with an aging parent.

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Difficulties Seniors Face when Dealing with Adult Children who Mean Well

You love your children. Just yesterday that they were young. Years pass, you begin to face challenges yourself, and it feels like role reversal, your adult children begin to make decisions for you. So have you really changed roles, have you become the child? Absolutely not!

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The Need for Purpose and the Need for Validation

One of the more meaningful aspects of my role with Laureate Group is guiding families through unfamiliar circumstances, specifically related to long term care and their loved one. As a part of that, I often find myself sitting in a client's living room facilitating a conversation between parents and adult children. I had such an experience just recently.

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How Do I Know When it's Time to Make a Change?

It feels like the answer to that question should be much more obvious than it is. Mom or dad get a bit older, they begin to slow down, keeping up with the housework and daily living gets harder. We believe we’ll recognize when they’re struggling a bit, we’ll discuss it and agree it’s time to begin looking at options and planning for future needs.

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Validation: Important in Conversations with Older Adults

Every day we're involved in many conversations with coworkers, friends and loved ones. In those conversations, we exchange a lot of information, we ask questions, and are frequently giving opinions on many different topics. At the end of those conversations, do we walk away scratching our heads wondering how our thoughts were received, or do we walk away feeling “heard and validated"?

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The Need for Multigenerational Conversations

Too many families are not having a conversation about future care needs for their aging parents until a life event forces the issue. There are so many reasons why the conversation does not get started. “Mom refuses to talk about moving.” ‘I have no clue what their finances are like and Dad isn’t open to a discussion about it.” “When Dad had to stop driving we all picked up the slack to get him places. So far we’re managing.” Does this sound familiar?

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Successfully Talking with Parents About Moving from Home: A Case Study

When you first begin to talk to your parents about changing their living situation [link to how to talk to your parents about changing their living situation] you might be surprised by the results that digging deeper reveals. You’ll find that successfully talking with parents about moving from home is possible, as the following case study reveals. When I sat down to have an open and honoring discussion with Alice, I was rewarded with a true understanding of her feelings. Read on to hear the full interaction and learn the surprising results the conversation yielded.

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An Adult Child in Crisis and Its Impact on Aging Parents

As an adult child we often think of our aging parents and worry about what will happen if their health fails. There’s validity to that concern, and in my work I’m often helping families work through a crisis because there wasn’t a plan in place. Recently I’ve been encountering a different situation. Instead of failing health on the part of the parent, I’ve been seeing adult children facing significant health setbacks, and suddenly they’re in no position to continue the support of their parent.

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Difficulties Seniors Face When Dealing with Adult Children Who Mean Well

You love your children and you value the special relationship you have with them. It seems like yesterday that they were young and you were teaching them how to read and write, how to handle the challenges that every child faces as they navigate growing up. Then one day they're adults with their own family, and they're making their own decisions. A few more years pass, you begin to face some challenges yourself, and it feels like a role reversal; your adult children begin to make decisions for you. So have you really changed roles, have you really become the child?

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Helping Your Loved One Rediscover Purpose

Have you ever heard an older adult express the thought "I just want to die, I'm ready to go." At a recent talk I was giving, a daughter said that's what her mother has been saying. Her father passed away a year ago, her mother's health is compromised, and mom apparently feels she's had enough.

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When Family Challenges the Job You’re Doing as Caregiver

Most people consider it a privilege to care for a loved one in their time of need. In a way it’s actually a gift to the caregiver, an opportunity for them to give back to someone who has given so much to them over the years. But the opportunity can prove to be a very challenging experience, made even more so when siblings or children aren’t on the same page.

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When Siblings Collide Over Care for an Aging Parent

Each family has to come together for the sake of their aging parents. Achieving consensus can be difficult when some siblings live a distance away and care giving is not equally shared. If the time comes that the sibling providing the most care determines that living alone is no longer an option, engaging everyone, including Mom or Dad if possible, in an honest and honoring discussion is key.

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Managing Family Discussions About Paying for Senior Care

Time To Move Grandma: What To Do With Her Home, part of the “Family Matters” NPR’s Morning Edition series touched on a very important aspect of caring for an older adult: the process families must go through to manage the financial side of finding the right care solution.

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How to Talk to Your Parents About Changing Their Living Situation

What is the best way to talk to your adult parents about the need for a change in their living situation? Is there a right or wrong way to go about having the conversation? How can you muster up all the love and caring you possess to convince your loved ones to get on board with your ideas?

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How Can We Find Common Ground and Move Forward?

When a family reports that they cannot discuss a parent’s living situation because he or she closes off conversation, I suggest to them that they have gotten stuck in a conversational cul de sac. This is understandable when you stop to think what most of us do when preparing for what we expect to be a difficult and uncomfortable conversation.

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My Parents Refuse to Talk About Moving. What Do I Do?

Talking about change can be difficult and stressful for everyone. Having said that, in my experience, it is more stressful having a sudden health crisis force a decision to move upon a family. I’ve had the pleasure of working with many families over the years, and I’ve come to understand that even the most loving families don’t necessarily have a history of honest conversations.

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