It’s never easy to talk with a loved one about a potential move into residential aged care, but the conversation can be handled gently and with sensitivity.

Even if your loved one has been receiving home care services, there may come a time when this is no longer an option. It’s best to have the conversation sooner rather than later to avoid having to make such a big decision in a hurry due to a sudden fall or illness requiring a hospital stay.

Feelings of uncertainty, insecurity or even anxiety may naturally arise but the good news is it is possible to live a rich and full life in the supportive and caring environment of an aged care community, without the worry and fear that many families experience before making the move.

At Blue Care, we understand what you are going through and have put together some tips for families at this delicate time.

Forward planning

A relaxed moment, when your loved one is in a reflective mood, can be a good time to start the conversation. You might like to involve other family members and be clear this is forward planning, with the aim of bringing more peace of mind for the entire family.

Photo albums, remembering past milestones and good times together, can encourage a talk about a parent’s life journey. As they reflect on fond memories and life experiences, there can be a natural flow into talking about what they would like to see happen in the future.

Ask what they have in mind, and really listen to their answers. Be sensitive and let them know they are loved and will always be an important part of your life.

Caring for elderly or ageing parents can be a difficult situation. If you're looking to speak with your elderly parents about residential aged care, we've compiled our tips to have what can be a difficult conversation;

Self-determination

For all of us, a sense of self-determination and dignity is important. Despite often realising they are struggling, many elderly parents bristle at the mention of residential aged care, fearing that the meaningful part of their life will cease.

If you have friends or neighbours who have moved into aged care, use them as examples to show that it is certainly possible to live a real life in an aged care home. Explain to your loved ones that you want them to have the support they need, so that you can spend quality time with them as your loving Mum or Dad, instead of worrying about their well being.

It might be possible to enlist the help of your loved one’s doctor or health care professional to explain how your parent could benefit from the care, support and social interaction of an aged care facility, allowing them to make a decision separate from what can sometimes be an emotionally charged family dynamic.

Visit a Residential Aged Care Facility

Encourage your parent to tour an aged care home and meet with some residents. You can find a local Blue Care aged care home and book a tour here.

Many Blue Care centres also have short-term respite care, which can be a good way to try out residential aged care before making the move.

We have also compiled some tips on finding the right provider, with helpful questions to ask that will really paint a picture of what life could be like in an aged care home.

Financial discussions

Entering an aged care home is also a big financial decision, involving a detailed assessment of your loved one’s income and assets. It’s important that the family understands the financial implications, so we have compiled a guide to funding an aged care home so you can talk through the costs as well.

Good to know: Don’t be surprised or discouraged if the idea of residential aged care is rejected at first. Care and supporting the elderly is an emotionally charged and difficult subject and will likely involve a series of discussions. But with sensitivity and compassion, it can be the start of a new chapter in your loved one’s journey, which sees them supported and encouraged to live a happy and meaningful life.

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