What to Talk About with Aging Parents?

Every year, emergency departments treat over 3 million elderly persons for fall injuries. Though it is difficult for adult children to talk with their parents about mobility issues, the discussion is vital. Parents, if approached inappropriately, may become defensive, angry, or refuse to talk about the matter.

Nevertheless, families should appropriately discuss this sensitive issue. The talk is essential in ensuring their loved ones, especially the elderly, are safe from mobility-related injuries. The discussion about mobility challenges, possibilities of losing mobility capability and being bound to a power wheelchair may cause distress. Therefore, you should set it at the right conditions, i.e., the right time and setting.

Have you been thinking about ways to initiate the conversation on the delicate mobility issue? This article will show you ways to carry out a talk with your family where everyone freely engages in the talk.

Five Ways to Talk with Aging Parents Freely

Ensuring that the talk with aging parents goes smoothly, try these ideas:

1. Set the Conversation in a Relaxed Setting

The setting of the conversation can determine if the talk will be successful or not. Start the talk in an appropriate setting, for example, while watching TV or while outdoors.

2. Schedule the Discussion at a Convenient Time for all Family Members.

Schedule the talk when everyone is around, e.g., during mealtimes.

3. Incorporate Good Communication Skills

Use a friendly tone, listen before talking, and show respect. With good communication skills, you can be sure that the discussion will start and end successfully.

4. Incorporate Humor in the Discussion

Using humor can ease the weight and tension of the discussion. However, it would be best to use humor sparingly since you need to leave room for the actual discussion.

5. Be Patient

The conversation should be free, not forced, and though you might not find the solution in the first talk you can try at another convenient time.

Fall Risks and Prevention Facts

As parents age, they might be at risk of falling, and due to fear, they might resist any help. To counterattack this and offer them help, family caregivers can present fall risks and prevention statistics and figures:

  • Fall risks and injuries increase with age.
  • Falls top the list among the most common causes of hospitalization for trauma among adults aged 65+. Additionally, it’s the leading cause of injuries and death.
  • Up to 30% of older adults who fall are at risk of living dependently, having mobility difficulties, or early death. These risks result from moderate to severe injuries like hip fractures and head traumas.
  • Fall prevention measures reduce injury risks and increases the chance of older adults retaining their independence.

By laying these facts, family members can discuss with their parents the safety strategies to impose. Mobility experts recommend that people who are physically challenged modify their homes for easier accessibility and fall prevention. Further, adult children can install an emergency response system or get a particular mobility scooter depending on the situation.

In any case, family caregivers can explore various options to ensure the safety of their loved ones. The first prevention measure is to have a conversation and engage the aging parent in the decision-making process. Preventing falls will ensure aging parents live independently, are safer, and live for many more years.