A big part of being a family are the memories we share, and family visits are a time to share stories and reminisce with loved ones, celebrate traditions and strengthen relationships. Often, at these gatherings we talk about how much time has past, and how so much has changed.

A visit home to your parents offers a great opportunity for families to have important conversations. You may feel the subject is a hard one to approach, but getting started with these conversations is easier than you may think.
It’s so important to take the time to connect on critical matters, as this will lead to better outcomes.

Let’s look at five ways to chat about the future

Timing is everything
Pick a time when there are no distractions or other obligations, so you can focus entirely on the conversation and give it your undivided attention. For example, the middle of Christmas dinner is likely not the right occasion for this discussion. Set aside a quiet time when there is an opportunity to connect with your loved ones on their future.

Share your thoughts, concerns and feelings
Maybe you have noticed that Mom or Dad seem to be struggling to keep up the house and yard, or there is a lack of food and a general apathy has started creeping in. Maybe they verbalise a loneliness, or seem depressed.
It’s always difficult speaking about these topics, but your loved ones want to know that you care and you’re there for them. If you notice a problem, be pragmatic and help them work through solutions they are happy with.

Emphasize that you love them and want the best outcome for them
Make them aware that you want to fulfill their wishes and they can depend on you, and that you want to maintain their way of life and need their help to make the right decisions.

Listen to their concerns and hopes
Make a list of the things concerning your loved ones in order to validate their concerns and help guide you in finding the most appropriate solutions for them.
Be decisive and communicate a clear plan
This will reassure them that there are action plans around next steps. You also want to make sure you have an agreed-upon plan if your loved ones can no longer make decisions or in the event of an emergency.
Speak to an attorney and get power of attorney in place before it’s needed.

Moving yourself or a parent or loved one to a senior living community can be one of the most difficult and emotional transitions a family can go through. We are more than happy to help families discuss their needs during this time and arrange a visit to The Grand Constantia. www.thegrandconstantia.com