As we grow older and our daily lives change to reflect our life stage, our needs for support, care and community change too.
It’s never easy to broach the subject of aged care with a loved one. It can be a sensitive topic with connotations that might trigger uncomfortable feelings for all affected parties – but there are ways you can approach the conversation with sensitivity, purpose and structure. Let’s look at a few of these now.
At Their Best
Aged care options are now more sophisticated than ever and many people opt for support and community based care rather than traditional on-site assisted living.
Your loved ones can benefit from the extra care and additional support offered by excellent community care providers in the comfort of their own home. Community care is aimed at increasing the quality of life of clients, meaning that they will receive the support they need to live their best life.
By communicating the enhanced living outcome to your loved one, while also assuring them that they won’t have to change their current habits, you will help them understand the possibilities that care can provide, and how it will fit into and improve their life.
Quality Of Life
If your loved one is worried about losing their independence or having their quality of life diminished, it can be a good idea to outline the different types of care available, so that you can highlight how their quality of life can be maintained – or in many cases, greatly improved.
Some examples of the type of assistance provided to older Australians include: assistance with errands and arranging transport; organising holidays and family events; shopping and cooking; looking after pets; and helping with household chores.
You may find that your loved one is relieved to no longer have to do some of these tasks alone (household chores can be particularly hard for those with mobility issues or physical impairment). By reiterating that this type of support is able to be provided, you might find that your loved one is open to the idea of care – even excited by it.
Another fear for many Australians is the loss of routine (such as daily exercise), or the loss of autonomy.
If your loved one is an active, social member of their community, you might find that they’re particularly resistant to the idea of aged care. In this case, you may do well to reassure them that their independence will not be affected as there are various types of aged care available which will help them to keep their autonomy and in some cases even helping them to achieve a greater autonomy by assisting with tasks and errands.
Maintaining independence is a part of ensuring that your loved one feels at-home, and that they’re not being simply ‘fobbed-off’ into a home or facility – it’s a concern many older Australians have, and by explaining the different care options available, you may be able to alleviate some of their anxiety or concern over this often hard-to-discuss topic.
Aged care is an important and valuable resource which can enhance and protect the quality of life of older Australians. If you’re trying to find a way to discuss the options and availability of care with your loved ones, take the time to listen to their concerns, while calmly providing them with care options tailored to their needs. Involving their feedback and opinions when choosing aged care is an excellent way to ensure that their needs are met, while also arriving at an outcome you can be satisfied with.