Getting the conversation started about aged care with your parents or a loved one can be tricky.
It’s a sensitive topic, especially for children concerned about how their parents are coping with looking after themselves or the family home, or if one of them is now living on their own.
Tasks like cleaning the gutters, mowing the lawn, housework, or heaving full rubbish bins to the kerb are not as easy as they once were and can carry with them the risk of a fall, or worse.
A fear of losing independence – and control – can often mean people put off any discussion about their future living arrangements until a sudden, life-changing event forces decisions onto them and the family.
“When I get older I know I want to stay in my own home for as long as possible. I can get some information or perhaps talk to my doctor about what options are available so that I can plan for the future.” Bett.
The friendly team at UCWB can help with some useful tips and conversation starters on how to talk to a loved one about aged care and planning for the future. We can also send you a free aged care information pack to help you to get informed.
- Take the time to understand the preferences of your loved one as early as possible.
- Respectfully approach a discussion as a family (of friends), and speak to them as partners to understand how they see their future.
- Offer options rather than advice on how they see themselves living in their own home independently for as long as possible.
- You may want to discuss who will make financial and medical decisions on their behalf should the need arise.
- A good way into the conversation can be to discuss the experience of a relative or a friend.
- Offer to help them find out more information or suggest they seek the views of someone they trust such as their doctor of financial adviser.
- Choose a time and place that is appropriate for the conversation. Make sure you choose somewhere familiar, quiet and where they feel comfortable.
- And remember, it is only the beginning of the conversation, one that will continue over time as you and your loved one gather information and decide on the next step.
A parent living alone: “I worry about you being on your own and managing the house all by yourself. Did you know that you can get some help with lots of things around the home like hanging up the washing, looking after the garden and taking the bins out? Would you like me to get some information and we can talk about it?”
Changes to aged care: “Did you know that there have been a lot of changes in the way the government funds and organises aged care assistance at home? I’ve heard that there is a lot of choice and different options these days. Would you like me to get some information for you?”
Gardening and maintenance help: “There are some things that need doing around the house; have you thought about getting some help to do maintenance? That way, you won’t have to think about moving or worrying that you need to clean the gutters or fix the fence.”
Help inside the home: “I am worried if you are eating well and taking your medication properly. You can get help to organise those things. If you like, I think it may be worthwhile speaking to My Aged Care to find out what services you may be eligible for.”
If you want to talk about options to help you or someone you know to stay living independently at home then order a free aged care information pack today from UCWB. You can call the team at UCWB on 8245 7196 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org