• How to Start and Successfully Have Difficult Conversations About Aging

    How to Start and Successfully Have Difficult Conversations About Aging

While it can be uncomfortable to start difficult conversations about aging, there is no time like the present. As you get older, your adult children may begin to stress about your later in life plans, or your friends may grow concerned for your health. Though these are all normal at this stage of life, it is important to be able to discuss these concerns and alleviate the possible growing tension. If you are looking to learn how to begin such conversations you’ve come to the right place.

Key Phrases to Start Difficult Conversations

When it comes to tough talks, knowing where to start is key and how you open the conversation can make all the difference. Here are a few opening phrases you can use to begin difficult conversations:

  • Here’s what I’m thinking.
  • I’ve come to a conclusion regarding ____ because…
  • This decision was difficult but here’s what I’ve decided.
  • I noticed…

Once you have opened the conversation, you can follow up on your friend’s and family’s concerns by asking:-

  • Do you have any additional concerns?
  • Do you see the situation differently?
  • Do you see any flaws in this plan?

Why It’s Important to have Difficult Conversations

The reason it is important to have difficult conversations about age is because aging is going to happen whether you talk about it or not. It is much better to make sure everyone is prepared. There are many benefits of having tough talks about aging with your loved ones.

  • You make the decisions
  • Loved ones know what you want 
  • Prevents confusion/hurt feelings/arguments amongst your family members
  • A plan now prevents stress and chaos when a crisis occurs

How to Prepare Your Family

You’re not the only person who is affected by the tough conversation. This conversation can be extremely distressing to your family, especially children. It is best to brace them so they can prepare. Let them know ahead of time that you want to talk to them and then do the following:

  1. Decide who you want to be involved 
  2. Set a place and time
  3. Write down what points and goals you want to have covered

When It’s Time to Ask for Help

Having these conversations isn’t easy for everyone and at some point, you may feel like you want help discussing things with your friends and family. A care coordinator can not only help with managing your needs with aging, but they can also help you navigate difficult conversations with those closest to you. This way, everyone is on the same page and there will be no surprises.

Don’t let the future catch you off guard and start planning today with this FREE eBook, Plan the Future for You and Your Spouse’s Long-Term Care.

Confident Living is a continuing care at home membership program, focused on helping you remain active and independent as you age in your own home. We serve the greater Cincinnati area. For more information, contact us online or call (513) 719-3522.