Careful Conversations: How to Approach Aging Parents’ Health Changes This Holiday

A family discusses their aging parents’ health changes while having a holiday dinner.

Aging parents’ health changes often come to light when families get together for the holidays. Be prepared to discuss new care needs before your visit.

Heading home for the holidays can be a heartwarming experience filled with the warmth of family gatherings and the joy of reconnecting with loved ones. However, for many adult children, it can also be a time when the reality of their aging parents’ health changes becomes starkly apparent. If you’ve noticed Mom’s increasing forgetfulness or Dad’s declining mobility, you’re not alone – the holiday season often serves as a reality check for families, revealing caregiving needs that may have gone unnoticed throughout the year.

Recognizing changes in a family member during a seasonal visit is a common occurrence, and it can be an opportune moment to initiate a conversation about the need for additional care at home. Utilizing the support of family and friends, broaching the subject of a care plan with your loved one requires sensitivity and effective communication. Here are some tips to navigate this important discussion:

  • Share Your Concerns: Open and honest communication is key. Express your worries about your loved one’s health and well-being. Let them know that you’ve observed changes and that addressing these concerns is a priority for you. This can motivate them to seek medical advice or consider making lifestyle adjustments.
  • Create a Sense of Planning: Approach the conversation with a sense of planning. Share specific observations using concrete examples, and inquire about their perspective on the situation. Ask what they believe is happening and invite them to contribute to finding a suitable solution. Involving them in the decision-making process fosters a sense of autonomy and cooperation.
  • Address Safety Issues: Take note of any safety issues in the home and discuss them openly. Whether it’s tripping hazards, inadequate lighting, or other potential dangers, collaboratively devise a plan to address these problems. Prioritizing safety concerns demonstrates your commitment to their well-being.
  • Encourage a Regular Medical Checkup: Advocate for regular medical checkups. Offer to schedule the visit, accompany them to the doctor, or assist in finding someone else to attend the appointment. Regular checkups can help monitor and manage health issues more effectively.
  • Contact the Doctor for Guidance: If your loved one dismisses your concerns, consider reaching out to their doctor directly. Obtain the necessary permissions to discuss their medical information and share your insights with the healthcare professional. Your observations may provide valuable context for the doctor during future visits.

Initiating conversations about your aging parents’ health changes and care needs can be challenging, and it’s essential to acknowledge that the first discussions may not yield immediate solutions. However, expressing your concerns and a willingness to collaborate on a plan is a crucial first step.

If you find yourself needing assistance in broaching the topic of in-home care with your loved one, consider reaching out to the experienced caregivers at Advanced Home Health Care in Mt. Pleasant, Fort Madison, Keokuk, or the surrounding areas. Our expertise can provide guidance and support as you navigate this important aspect of your loved one’s well-being. Remember, these discussions are about working together to create a plan that best suits your loved one’s needs. Contact us online or call us anytime at 800.791.7785, 319.753.6270 in Burlington, or 319.524.2144 in Keokuk.

The Care You Need. The Quality You Deserve.