Friday, May 26, 2017

'We need to talk ...'

Adult children and their parents need to have conversations about ageing issues before a critical illness makes them necessary, writes Brian Byrne.

That’s the view of Home Instead Senior Care’s Amanda Bohan, commenting on survey results that show such conversations simply aren’t happening enough.

The owner of Home Instead’s Kildare franchise, based in Kilcullen, notes that from the survey, half of such adult children have waited until a health crisis before discussing with their parents such matters as living choices, driving, health and end of life.

Home Instead has developed a ’40-70 Rule’ and programme with resources such as videos, conversation starters and ageing plans, to help jump-start that dialogue when children are approaching their 40s and, or, their parents are approaching their 70s.

“Too often, conversations about important senior care issues are taking place in a hospital, after a health emergency has occurred,” Amanda says. “We’re hoping to change that.”

The most difficult conversation for families to discuss is around living choices. Two-thirds of adult children surveyed and four in ten of senior parents say it is most difficult to discuss the parent’s need to move away from the home in the event of a change in physical or mental health.

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