The conversation with a loved one about assisted living isn’t easy to approach. When your loved one’s health is declining, and you realize they’re in need of greater care than you can provide, a care manager can be an invaluable asset.
Care managers help you approach difficult conversations with compassion and respect. The goal is to help your loved one recognize their own needs and make better choices for themselves. In some cases, you might be the one responsible for making decisions.
That doesn’t mean you leave them out of the loop. You want them to know that their thoughts matter and that you always act with their best interests in mind.
Difficult conversations with elderly parents may be centered around financial management, caregiving, and independence. For example, you may realize that your parents can no longer safely drive, so you ask them to surrender their car keys and driver’s license. You’ll also need to be prepared for when they agree, setting up a system where they can still access transportation when needed.
For many seniors, these conversations can lead to anger, anxiety, and embarrassment. They may even recognize their need for assistance but are not yet willing to admit it. A care manager can help you effectively mediate these hard conversations to ensure the health, safety, and wishes of everyone are being considered.
What Does Mediating Difficult Conversations Mean?
Mediators reduce conflict and improve outcomes. They’re compassionate but uninvolved third parties who can serve as a voice of reason during a difficult conversion. When it comes to senior care, mediating conversations with an experienced care manager can lead to much more productive dialogue.
Difficult conversations are ones marked by strong emotional ties. These include anger, anxiety, fear, frustration, and uncertainty. Many adults don’t know how to start difficult conversations with elderly parents, so they put them off until they’re forced to take action.
Finding a way to mediate difficult conversations can actually improve everyone’s emotional well-being. Although aged care does come with some difficult moments, they can be handled with grace if you have the right strategies.
Care management mediators are there to answer both your and your loved one’s questions. They can help you touch upon complicated subjects, explore solutions, and help families reach healthy compromises.
The Role of a Care Manager
Care managers are advocates and educators. They help families and their patients make informed decisions about senior care, whether home care services, hiring a financial manager, or improving medication management and compliance.
Adult caregivers often find themselves struggling to approach difficult subjects. They want to respect their loved ones, but they also feel the need to intervene. Your loved one may no longer be able to properly care for themselves alone, but they’re resistant to any caregiving efforts. You may realize that assisted living could be beneficial, but you aren’t sure how to introduce the idea to your loved one.
A care manager is there to guide the conversation and prevent conflict. They also help alleviate resistance by respecting a loved one’s feelings, giving them a voice, and including them in their healthcare planning.
How a Care Manager Can Help Mediate and Facilitate Difficult Conversations
Reaching out to a care manager can help you have better conversations with your loved one. They serve as a resource for you to discuss and explore various care options, from home care services to financial management.
You can reach out to a care manager to start preparing for a difficult conversation. They can help you establish a plan and come up with a strategy. They can help you find the right words and choose the best time to talk with your relatives. They’ll help you learn how to approach conversations by looking at the facts without overlooking the importance of anyone’s feelings.
When to Use a Care Manager to Mediate
You might have tried to start difficult conversations in the past, and they went about as well as you expected. Your loved one may have gotten angry, you might have argued, and there could have been unpleasant exchanges that led to the topic being pushed aside.
If you’ve tried to cover tough topics before with no success, care manager mediation could help.
When introducing topics for the first time, it’s best to address your loved one privately. You should only bring in a third party when the conversation shows no signs of progress. The good thing is that you can always reach out to a care manager and receive personal advice on how to best address and handle these challenging conversations.
Senior care managers can help you and your loved one get on the same page about their healthcare so you can make the best choices for their well-being together.
Starting the Process
To start, reach out to a care management provider and ask them to put you in touch with a mediator. During your initial conversation, they’ll ask questions that help them better understand you, your family, and your current situation.
Together, you can discuss different care options and decide on what resources and services would benefit your loved one the most.
Here at Reflections Management and Care, we help families approach these tough conversations, providing them with the senior care services that best meet their needs.
Please reach out to us today to discuss starting a personalized care management plan for your aging loved one.