Assessing Your Aging Mom’s Condition Over the Holidays and How to Handle it
Visiting Aging Parents Over the Holidays?
Opening Pandora’s Box!
“I didn’t know Mom’s driving was that bad!” “Grandpa didn’t recognize me!” If you encounter these situations, what are you supposed to do? Who do you call for help? What kind of help does Dad need?
These are the kinds of questions that Linda Fodrini-Johnson of Eldercare Services hears frequently in her practice, but especially so after the holidays. Her business is Eldercare Services and she is a Family Therapist and Certified Professional Geriatric Care Manager practicing in the San Francisco Bay Area.
As we approach the year-end holidays, millions of people will be anxiously looking forward to visiting family, but many who visit an elderly family member will be both surprised and shocked by how much that person’s physical or mental condition has slipped since they were last together.
One daughter with an elderly mother expressed her concern over mom’s forgetfulness and asked Fodrini-Johnson: “How do I bring up the subject?” A very simple but important strategy is to be honest and state your concerns in “I” messages, not “you should.” When you say, “I am concerned about your ability to live alone,” rather than “You should move to assisted living,” the conversation is less likely to be conflictual.