Life planning conversations are difficult to navigate and many of us don’t get much practice having them. Here are some things to keep in mind while discussing the topic:
- Setting: These conversations take a while. Make sure you have a couple hours set aside so you can say what you want to say and listen to what your relative has to say. Consider bringing it up after dinner. Put your phone down, turn off the TV and make sure you’re free from distractions.
- Signpost: Let your child know that you are interested in talking about planning for the next chapter of your life.
- Deliver your message: Express your concern using an “I statement”.
“I’m getting to a stage of my life where I might not always be able to do everything myself. I might need some help here and there.”
- Express your desires: What do you want the next chapter of your life to look like? Be forthcoming about your goals.
“I’m still able to mostly take care of myself and I want to continue living at home. With a little bit of help, I’ll be able to remain independent.”
- Invitation: Invite your child to participate in your care and organise services you would find useful.
“Can you help me every now and then with some of the more difficult housework or arrange for someone else to take care of it for me?”
- Recommendation: Bring up services you feel will help you live your best life!
“I know you have your life and can’t be here all the time, but I’d feel more confident living alone knowing you’re close by and aware of me. I’ve been reading about Billy and I think it will help me feel more comfortable knowing that you can still check in on me while you’re not here.”
Shared decision making: Review relevant services together, discuss, and arrive at a decision together.