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How to Talk to Your Aging Parents About Getting Help: Tips and Advice

Suddenly you notice: your father and/or mother is really getting old! The house is less clean, cooking every day is a hassle and during conversations half of it often escapes him and/or her. You think it’s really time for that hearing aid or that daily meal service. But yes, how do you address that?

No matter how difficult it is, at a certain point you simply can’t ignore it anymore. Then it is really high time to discuss emotional topics such as aids, but also funeral wishes, powers of attorney and wills with your parent(s). Sit down together, without pushing and with these tips.

Less cared for

Things were going so well with your father and/or mother for years. When you came to visit, there was something tasty in the house, the house was cozy and clean, just like them. But the last few times it was different. Your mother looked less cared for; When had she last been to the hairdresser? Your father says that he no longer feels like cooking for himself every day. Too much hassle, a sandwich is also fine. You cautiously start talking about a meal service such as table setting, a hairdresser at home or home care, but you actually already know their reaction.

Understand the fear

Well, old age not only comes with defects, apparently also with stubbornness! However, you certainly don’t want to avoid topics such as an alarm button, stair lift, new glasses or hearing aid. They are tools that make life a little more pleasant. Solutions that allow them to continue living independently for longer and that provide you with the necessary rest and sleep. But how do you get your parents to accept that help?

Everything starts with understanding the underlying fear: that of growing older. Often older people fear becoming a burden or losing their independence. The idea that help is needed with daily tasks is also confrontational. Unfortunately, something often has to go wrong before you realize that help is a must. Good to be ahead of that!

Ways to have that conversation together

  • Start on time
    A relaxed conversation about aid (resources) often works best when help is not actually needed yet. During a visit or dinner, ask questions such as: ‘Mom, where do you see yourself growing old?’ Or: ‘Dad, what do you think about help with the housework so that you can continue to live at home?’ But also emotionally charged topics such as: ‘Do you want to be buried or cremated later?’ Or: ‘Have you actually recorded your will officially?’ works best in a relaxed setting. Afterwards, write down what was discussed. This way you can access it again later if necessary.
  • 2. Go deep
    If your parents resist or do not accept help, this often has to do with fear. Ask questions to understand that resistance. Are they afraid of the costs or of strange people in their home? Perhaps there is a fear of losing their independence. Start the conversation openly, discuss things and accept their fears. Sometimes they don’t realize that they are rejecting everything. Ask questions like: “Mom, I notice that you keep rejecting all my suggestions for help. Why is that?’ Only when you really understand it can you look for a solution.

    Practical: help with…

    New glasses

    Do you notice that your father or mother’s vision is getting worse, has sore eyes or that the current glasses are really worn out? Make an appointment with the optician or ask about the options for an eye test at home. Handy if your parents are unable to leave the house. Afraid that you need more than new lenses? You can often also go to the optician for an eye health examination. After an extensive interview, photos and measurements, an optometrist assesses how healthy the eyes are. For example, is there a cataract or too high eye pressure? So you (usually) do not have to visit an ophthalmologist for this.

    ➜ Reimbursement Reimbursement for new glasses is only possible with additional health insurance. The amount varies per health insurance policy. Also note that some insurers have contracts with specific opticians.

    Hearing aid

    Do you notice that your parents turn up the TV very loudly or that one of them no longer really participates in the conversation during a birthday? There is a good chance that their hearing (device) is no longer as it was. To be sure, schedule a hearing test with your hearing care professional or arrange for a hearing care professional to come to your home. Hearing complaints are divided into 5 categories: 1 is the simplest and 5 is the most complex. Hearing aids also have 5 categories. The hearing care professional discusses the results in detail and fits a hearing aid in the correct category. They take the lifestyle and needs of your parent(s) into account. Fortunately, nowadays a hearing aid is so much more than an ugly banana behind the ear. You barely see them! There is also often the opportunity to try out different devices (for free). That gives you peace of mind.

    ➜ Reimbursement Every insured person with hearing loss (minimum 35 dB) is eligible for a hearing aid reimbursement. The basic insurance reimburses 75% of the purchase price. The reimbursement applies to a device from its own category. Also check whether the hearing care professional who performs the hearing test has a contract with the health insurer.


    Read further?

    Would you like more tips on how to start the conversation and more practical tips? You read it in Sentence 3. Now in stores. Or order it online here.

    2024-02-29 07:50:00
    #Auxiliary #troops #Zin.nl

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