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Bringing up the need for your senior to gain access to in-home care can be a tough task to take on for all parties. Not only is this a delicate proposition for the person who needs the help, but making this a talking point can also be hard on affiliated loved ones who may have to initiate what could turn out to be a very raw and even disturbing conversation. After all, covering topics like the potential for invasion of privacy and the idea of giving up autonomy is not ideal no matter how old or how incapable the subject happens to be.

To take this talk to the table with your mom or your grandpa or your cousin or your best friend means doing so when the time is right. But when is that? Everyone has his or her own timetable for such matters. So, to assist in getting the discussion going when or if need be, following are some items, ideas and concerns to consider.

Consider The Obvious
Take note of your loved one’s overall quality of life. Can he or she still get around without fear of falling? Can that same person fully command his or her motor skills without assistance? How about driving? Is this a danger? And what about daily grooming? Can this be done alone or is someone needed to watch over your treasured relative or close friend?

Look At The Health Picture
Has a new diagnosis been given that calls for a reassessment of the living situation? Has an old diagnosis meant that health has recently declined? Do newly prescribed medications mean limiting certain activities, whether that be taking care of the many needs of the family pet or going out for a walk alone? These are questions that could drive the point home that another person on the scene will likely mean greater freedom when considering the whole picture.

Other Considerations
Beyond any health concerns that exist, also think and dissect the potential for more decline if a healthcare professional is not in the picture. Will your cherished family member continue to be able to cook? If not, how will he or she eat while addressing all necessary nutritional needs? Are there ways to help in this area that don’t mean a complete change in the household, such as freezing dinners made in advance, or do hot meals actually need to be prepared and served to your loved one throughout the day?

Emphasize The Positive
If you do ultimately decide the time is right for that in-home care discussion, you will feel as if you are on more solid ground with your senior if you talk up the fact that this decision is likely a far better option than moving that loved one out of his or her own home and into a long-term care facility for the rest of his or her life. Who wouldn’t prefer to have a little help in their familiar environment rather than leaving that place and moving to another that is uncharted at best? That last thought is probably rhetorical, but think about this as you prepare to speak about the next step in life.


Freelance travel writer Jane Lasky, contributes to publications such as Travel + Leisure, Vogue and Esquire. Her weekly sojourning column ran in 40 newspapers for 20 years. Jane is anything but an accidental tourist and always travels with her pillow. Check out her articles on Examiner.com.

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