Andrew Hook, Virginia Attorney, Stresses the Importance of Talking to Older Loved Ones About Difficult Subjects
Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) January 9, 2015 – As parents age, a wide range of challenging subjects arise, including the need to care for a parent with ailing health. The difficulty associated with these subjects and the changing nature of the relationship between older parents and their adult children can make communication a challenge.
Learning how to talk to older loved ones about difficult subjects can help ensure that important issues are addressed and conflict is minimized.
“How families approach these challenging subjects plays a big role in whether or not a resolution is found,” said Andrew H. Hook, a Virginia elder law attorney with Hook Law Center, which has offices in Virginia Beach and northern Suffolk.
Parents and children are always at different stages in life. Reflecting on one’s life and accomplishments is a key part of growth in old age, while adult children in middle age are typically focused on productivity and contributing to society. This can mean that older adults and their children approach issues from very different perspectives.
For adult children, learning to tune into the older loved one’s perspective is crucial. For example, older parents may have fears and concerns about losing their health and independence that need to be heard and addressed before the subject of assisted living can be productively tackled.
Listening with patience and respect can go a long way to facilitate communication with older loved ones. Before moving on to solutions, adult children should hear their parent’s concerns without giving in to the urge to dismiss, problem-solve or patronize. From there, children need to remain calm, give the parent a say in decisions and stay open about feelings and thoughts. A little effort, over time, can help ensure productive communication about difficult subjects.