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​7 simple ways to discuss aged care with your loved one

1st January 2019

7 simple ways to discuss aged care with your loved one

Speaking to your loved ones about aged care can be a daunting and sometimes confronting experience for all parties.

Transitioning to an aged care service can be a chance for loved ones to regain confidence and maintain independence, whilst still having the support they require. Yet, aged care, for most people, can often be a difficult change to come to terms with. That is why it is important to have a clear and honest conversation about what aged care services mean for your loved one and how it may affect their life for the better.

Here are seven simple ways you can approach the topic without causing unnecessary stress.

1. Take the time to discuss the options with your loved one

Sit down, relax and ease into the conversation. There is more than one option when it comes to aged care and this greatly hinges on the level of independence your loved one has. Each scenario requires a different level of support and reassurance from you, so make sure you set aside enough time in the day so you don’t have to cut the conversation short.

2. Research the service before you have the conversation

Make sure you research all aspects of the service before you start. It is important that you have all the facts to avoid misinforming your loved one. This may result in them feeling anxious or confused. Pass on any handouts or pamphlets about the aged care service so they can read it in their own time without distractions. MyAgedCare.com.au is an essential place to start.

3. Speak about the positive aspects, yet acknowledge the negatives

Of course it is important to speak about the positive aspects of aged care. And there are plenty. However, make sure you acknowledge the challenges – such as selling their home or potentially leaving their pets behind. By doing so you will instill confidence in your loved one and it will help them feel at ease with the decision.

4. If an aged care facility is the right option, explain how often you will visit

Your loved one may have fears of loneliness, however if you can reinforce that you will visit often, it will help to comfort them. If you have a large family, organising a schedule that they can refer to prior to moving, may be a good way to help them understand that they will not be abandoned.

5. Explain how they can still maintain their independence and lifestyle

Ensure you explain that the service will not impede them, but rather allow your loved one to maintain their lifestyle with confidence. This can be a common fear. Be clear that they will still have independence, yet with the knowledge that if anything happens someone will be there to help them.

6. Make sure the service aligns with your loved ones’ interests

It is important to choose a facility that aligns with your loved one’s personality. Make sure you mention the activities that will interest them, such as trivia nights, trips to the casino or going out to lunch on Friday afternoons. This will allow them to imagine what it may be like to live there and prepare them for the transition.

7. Visit the facility (if they are able to) before making a decision

Offering to take your loved one to the facility before they make a decision can put them at ease and reduce any anxieties they may have. It can make it an easier transition if they can see how the facility works and are able to ask staff questions. This way they can feel in control of the situation.

It is not an easy conversation, but the more time you take to understand aged care and the community, the clearer you can be to your loved one. This will make the transition to an aged care service a smooth and enjoyable one.

To find out more about how Benetas can help you and your loved ones, give us a call on 1300 23 63 82.