How to Say It to Seniors (Part III)

I tell my clients that disagreements will occur. After all, we’re dealing with emotional family issues here.

But we’re not talking about quicksand. You don’t have to sink inevitably deeper into the morass. And you and your parent{s} don’t have to end up saying things you’ll regret later.

If you’re stuck at a communications impasse, here are a few ways to navigate it…

SPEAK YOUR MIND – BUT DON’T BE OFFENSIVE: If conversations with your parents have become a dialogue of the deaf, tell them you’re frustrated. Chances are they feel the same way. Voila – common ground!

LEARN TO LISTEN: It’s a necessary skill anywhere in life…but particularly with elderly parents. Don’t think up answers while they’re speaking – give them the respect of listening. Don’t try to counter their points; this isn’t high school debate. Listen not only to their words, but also to their underlying messages. And try for solutions that work for all of you.

LEARN TO BACK OFF: When you’re getting nowhere, sometimes it’s best to back off. Otherwise, you run the risk of alienating your parents. Keep things in perspective. Don’t make a big deal out of relatively little things.

AVOID RESENTMENT: One of the best ways to do this is to take care of yourself! If you’re frequently stressed out and upset as a result of arguments with your parents, make sure you’re not neglecting your own needs. Make time for YOURSELF, and for your friends. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to help your parents.

Learning how to speak with your aging parents is a challenge. But we can help.

At the Law Offices of Alice Reiter Feld & Associates, we practice Elder Law. Over the past 34 years, we’ve helped thousands of South Florida families resolve issues on the Elder Journey. And we’ve helped them achieve financial security, as well, with comprehensive estate planning, wills, trusts, powers of attorney, long-term care planning, asset-protection plans, and assistance with Medicaid and the VA.

We can help your family resolve Elder Journey issues. And we’re just a phone call away.

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Posted in Alice Reiter Feld Florida Elder Law Monday Memos

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