R.A.Koyama

Live Well, Live Happy, Live Long

Tag: helping aging parents

Helping Aging Parents Make Difficult Decisions – Free Chapter

My Health is my concern, not yours

 

Aging Parents

Aging Parent

If that is not the case, it brings us back to that conversation being best served by having an understanding of your parent’s temperament.  If the conversation is started by suggesting it take place at the doctor’s office, you have already lost half if not all of the battle when it comes to talking about what the future should, could or will hold.  A conversation in this company will have already put the parent on edge and have them thinking you feel they are incompetent and that you need and support of the doctor to talk them into something they don’t want.  If you do in fact, need that support you will need to have a different conversation.  A conversation with the goal of getting your parents permission for you to discuss their health.

Ask for permission for Doctor Input

Doctors, as we age, become either our best friends or our biggest fear.  Sadly, too many of us as we age increasingly rely on medication to alleviate any and all aches and pains, both physical and physiological.   You will need to know what your parents’ feelings are with respect to their doctor and how that doctor is assisting them with their health care.

 

Once again temperament plays a big role in how all conversations will go. When it comes to health, the conversation should start with how they feel their health will be in the future and how it is now. Your goal here is to gain an understanding in a non-threating manner what your parent’s thoughts are when it come to their health.  This is not about the doctor’s opinion or your feelings. It is setting the stage for a conversation that may be the topic of a future conversation.

Speak of Now Not Tomorrow

 

When the conversation takes place, it is best started on what is happening now rather than just throwing out the doom and gloom of the future. It’s the age old question; which do you want first, the good news or the bad?  In this case always start with the good—how good your parents look, how something they are currently doing is a good idea.  To bring up the future, you need to tie it to the present.  For example: “Wow, Mom, you are looking pretty spry, those walks must be working.  How do you feel, do the walks make you feel more energetic?   Good, they say that is key to staying healthy.”  If your parents disagree that this has been helping them, they have opened the door for a talk about what they think could help them now and how they think it will change, for better or worse, as time goes on.

 

Keep the conversation focused on the now and let the parent direct it towards tomorrow and the future.  Doing so will help bring the true nature of the needed talk more easily into the conversation with much less stress for all parties.

 

In a nutshell, you talk about the good of today and let your parents introduce the potential changes of the future.  Use that introduction to speak of how things may change or need to change down the road, even if that road is just around the corner.

Hard Conversations

senior sail to the future

I have written about my current book project titled the Hardest Conversation and think that I should explain that it really speaks to helping aging parents live the best rest of their lives. This book is not about a parent in decline.

The reason this is the hardest conversation is because your parent(s) may/will be very much engaged with life when it takes place. Those parent(s) that are active, and energetic often do not consider the conversation relevant. It is diffcult at times even for ourselves to think about what we need to do or be aware of as we age. To my mind it doesn’t matter if your parents are 60 or 80 when you have this conversation, it is one that needs to take place. When you read the topics covered in the conversation you will see why I think that it will help you (if you are the adult child) realize that this is a discussion we all need to consider as we get older.

The time may come when each of us has to face the final conversation, but for now I think a focus to a bright and enjoyable future is more appropriate. Once this has been addressed no doubt there will be need for that book, but that is in the future. I truly believe that a happy today, pleasant dreams and goals for the future can make this conversation stay quite aways in the future.

Soon to be released- The Hardest Conversation

As I am writing my newest book, I continue to ponder the importance of it to not only Adults with Aging Parents but the parents themselves.

The title of the new book is:

The Hardest Conversation  – Helping Aging Parents

I am of course writing it from my perspective as the aging parent, but I want to ensure that while I share my concerns, about the inevitable “conversation,” that the feelings of my children are also address.  This will not be a good time for either, and my goal with this book is to make it as painless and stressless as possible.

So to that end, I thought I would share with you the Chapter Headings and to ask if I am missing any critical pieces.

 

Chapters

  1. Timing the Talk
  2. Tell me Why Not What
  3. Speak to me, not at me
  4. Wishes, Wants, and Reality
  5. Stress Times Two
  6. Whose needs are being met
  7. Physical and Psychological are different
  8. What the future holds and how your parent’s health stacks up
  9. Mental process changes
  10. Give me Options Not Opinions
  11. Easing me in not out
  12. Whew, that’s done – now what?
  13. What we decided, what we agreed, what’s left?

If you are of a mind, please provide me your feedback on the topics I have chosen and let me know what your think.  You can do so in the comments or on Twitter @koyamaRuth

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