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How Do You Start Talking about Tough Stuff with Your Senior?

Difficult conversations with your aging adult are part of the caregiving process, but that doesn’t make them any easier. Approaching these conversations the right way can be incredibly helpful.

Elderly Care in Healdsburg CA: Starting Tough Conversations

Elderly Care in Healdsburg CA: Starting Tough Conversations

Be Assertive and Clear without Blaming.

If you’re wishy washy at all or if you’re implying blame when you open tough conversations, you’re already out of control of the conversation. You can be assertive while still being polite, kind, and respectful. Doing so shows your senior that you’re serious about the topic and you want to come to a solution. Assigning blame, even just through your tone of voice or the phrases you select, is more insulting than helpful.

Give Solid Reasons for What You’re Suggesting.

You have reasons for this talk, so you need to share them. For instance, if you’re suggesting hiring elderly care providers but your senior is balking, share your reasons with her. Some of those reasons might be that she would benefit from companionship, that the household tasks can be done by someone else, or that she can enjoy healthy, home-cooked meals with more assistance.

Respect Your Senior’s Rights to Make Decisions.

You’re likely making a lot of choices for your senior at this stage, but that doesn’t mean that you have to make all of them. Nor should you. She needs to be kept involved in the decision-making process as much as possible. Think about how you would feel if you were in her shoes.

Get a Neutral Third-party to Help, if Necessary.

Sometimes difficult discussions don’t get easier no matter what you do on your own. One of the ways that you can deal with that is to work with a neutral third-party, such as a therapist or counselor. That person can help you each to see the other person’s side of things and to come to a beneficial solution for everyone.

Stand Your Ground When You Know You’re Right.

When you know that you’re doing the right thing for your aging adult, backing down might not be the right thing to do. Peacefully stand your ground when you know that you’re doing the right thing for her. Your senior might not appreciate this right then, but she may later.

Having these difficult conversations is something you have to do, even though it’s difficult. Your approach to the topic is what will make the biggest difference. If you’re still having trouble, regroup and revisit the conversation when you feel better prepared.

If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Healdsburg, CA, call At Your Service Home Care.  Call today! (707) 573-1003

Lucy Andrews DNP, RN, MS

In 1988, after working as a clinical nurse in the University Health System at UC San Francisco, Lucy Andrews started understanding home care.

She became a discharge planner and immediately fell in love with the concept of home care and the autonomous clinical practice it affords nurses. Dr. Lucy was hooked and has been a strong supporter of home care ever since.Believing people need advocates in healthcare systems, she has championed that cause across the acute care and post-acute care setting.

Dr. Lucy has worked in every aspect of home care from Medicare Certified, DME, Infusion, Hospice and finally Private Duty/Private Pay services. She also works as a home care consultant across the country and as a legal nurse consultant for the home care industry.

Having worked in all areas of home care, Dr. Lucy has a well-rounded perspective of the challenges facing patients, families and the home care industry, and as a provider she advocates for patients through the maze of health care services. Dr. Lucy celebrated over 37 years as a nurse and patient advocate.

Dr. Lucy has a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois.In 1994, she received her Masters of Science in Health Service Administration from St. Mary's University, Moraga, California. Dr. Lucy received her Doctor of Nursing Practice awarded in 2016, graduating with Distinction and a 4.0 GPA.

She did her doctoral work on the global dementia crisis, aging and prevention strategies for healthy living. Developed dementia and Alzheimer's disease plans for aging patients leaving the hospital setting or entering long-term care or home health and hospice environments. She also developed a specialized program for those at risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

In 1992, Dr. Lucy was designated CAHSAH Certified Home Care Administrator in the inaugural offering of this designation through the California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).

She is the founder and CEO of Creative Solutions Home Care Consulting Services and At Your Service Nursing & Home Care, a concierge nursing & home care agency that provides the services she believes are essential for seniors to age in place.She offers a higher level of care allowing people to be in their own homes with an emphasis on independence, safety, and quality of life.

Dr. Lucy is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) and sits on the Board of Directors for California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).

She has served on the boards for both state and national board associations, and is currently on the following boards and committees: Board of Directors, California State Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH), 2002-present, National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC's) Private Duty Home Care Association Director, and multiple state and national home care committees.

Dr. Lucy goes to Washington, DC, several times a year to advocate for senior services and home care issues. She was past Commissioner for the Sonoma Commission on Human Rights.She is past chair of the local Senior Advocacy Services.