7 Tips to have “The Talk” with a Senior

7 Tips to have “The Talk” with a Senior

Do they prefer tea or coffee?

Do they prefer tea or coffee?

Last week the Tips2Seniors blog discussed: Seniors in Denial, Relying on Friends and Family.” Every single one of us knows a senior who is struggling in their home. Some seniors silently suffer and others have a whole network of support from family and friends.

Ultimately when a loved one or neighbor tries to have “The Talk” with the senior it can have five typical results:

  1. Denial: “I am not ready yet.  I am just fine living in my own home.”
  2. Shutting down: “I don’t want to discuss this.”
  3. Anger: “Why are you questioning my ability to be independent? Leave me alone.”
  4. Confusion: “Don’t you want to come see me everyday? I don’t understand.”
  5. Acceptance: “I understand that I have become a burden. Maybe it’s time to look at what my senior housing options could be. Will you help me look?”

In my 17-year senior housing career, sons, daughters and spouses have asked me the same question, how do I have “The Talk.”

Here are my 7 Tips to have “The Talk.”

  1. Set the stage for “The Talk”. You know if it is better to have “The Talk” in public or private with your senior.
    1. Public talk: Take them out to eat in a public location (so they can’t yell at you or they can’t escape into their bedroom).
    2. Private talk: Buy or make your seniors their favorite cookies. Serve the favorite cookies with their special coffee or tea at their dining room table.
  1. Tell your senior how much you love them.
  1. Then share your concerns, be very factual. Such as:
  • You have fallen twice.
  • You missed your medications three times this week.
  • I come over here every day to help you.
  1. Explain your fears in loving detail. Every day when I call you my heart stops till you answer the phone on the third ring. I can’t handle the stress. It is making me sick with worry. I can’t keep this up. If something happens to me, you will be in jeopardy. (It is okay to cry and show your emotions. This is very emotional.)
  1. Recommend a solution to explore senior housing options together. I know you don’t want to move but it will be healthier for you and healthier for me. Let’s do this together.
  1. There is a book that can teach us how to find a great retirement community versus a mediocre one. Here’s the book, it is called, “Your Senior Housing Options.”

Depending on your senior, read it to them or you each read it on your own. Use the tips and advice in the book to find the best senior housing arrangement.

  1. Schedule a luncheon tour at a local retirement community that you have vetted with the tips from the book, “Your Senior Housing Options.”

If this article struck a cord with you, please share it on social media to help a friend or neighbor going through a struggle with a senior.

Give the gift of knowledge: “Your Senior Housing Options,” is an easy read with illustrations. It walks seniors and their adult children through the costs and pitfalls of navigating senior housing and includes the “7 Deadly Sins of Searching for Senior Housing Options.”

News Flash: Diane Masson’s interview on Generation Bold Radio broadcasted on Sunday, December 6th on the BizTalkRadio Network syndicated to 33 stations across the country.

Diane Masson is a senior living expert who has authored two 5-star rated books sold through Amazon. Her new book is an all-encompassing answer guide for seniors called, “Your Senior Housing Options,” designed to help seniors navigate choices quickly. The second book was written for senior living professionals called, “Senior Housing Marketing – How To Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full.” Reach out to her through her website: Tips2Seniors.com and read the weekly blog.