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Is your loved one beginning to show signs of difficulty in accomplishing their activities of daily living? This presentation offers suggestions on how to approach this delicate subject.

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  • Personal anecdotes and self revelation can open the door to a deeper conversation with your senior. By being vulnerable yourself – your senior can feel comfortable being vulnerable as well – providing you’ve done the work yourself! Another approach may be asking reflective questions…
  • Our goal always is to provide the best possible environment for the last days of their lives. In some cases, you may find solutions easily, in other cases you may need to delay resolutions…whatever the case…
  • Cwsppt2

    1. 1. Conversations with Seniors Presented by Catherine Stelianoudakis Prochaska, CSA
    2. 2. Most Difficult Topics <ul><li>42 % Needing to leave home </li></ul><ul><li>30 % Giving up driving </li></ul><ul><li>11 % Having enough money/finances </li></ul><ul><li>11% Maintaining health and well being </li></ul><ul><li>5 % None </li></ul><ul><li>Home Instead Senior Care </li></ul>
    3. 3. Study by Liberty Mutual <ul><li>75% of adult children say they haven’t talked about driving safety issues. </li></ul><ul><li>58% think their parents would find the conversation ‘uncomfortable’ </li></ul><ul><li>38 % believe their parents would be angered by such a discussion. </li></ul>
    4. 4. <ul><li>24% of seniors say they would find the conversation ‘uncomfortable’ </li></ul><ul><li>9 % say they would be ‘angered’ </li></ul><ul><li>92% of seniors say their adult children ‘have a right’ to raise the issue with them. </li></ul>
    5. 5. <ul><li>What do these statistics tell us about the adult child’s perspective of the conversations with seniors? </li></ul><ul><li>What do these statistics tell us about the senior’s perspective of the conversation? </li></ul><ul><li>What can you see about your willingness or reluctance to bring up the topic? </li></ul>
    6. 7. Webinar Outcomes <ul><li>Help clarify your intentions and commitments in your conversations with seniors. </li></ul><ul><li>Be aware of and practice removing barriers to good communication. </li></ul><ul><li>Provide tools for structuring conversations. </li></ul><ul><li>Build your comfort level in having those important conversations. </li></ul>
    7. 8. Agenda <ul><li>Overview </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-work </li></ul><ul><li>THE conversation </li></ul><ul><li>Continuing the dialogue </li></ul><ul><li>Getting additional assistance </li></ul>
    8. 9. Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the entire staircase. Martin Luther King
    9. 10. I. Pre-Work <ul><li>Understand the seniors’ world </li></ul><ul><li>Identify the barriers to effective communication </li></ul><ul><li>Know your preferred outcomes, potential pitfalls </li></ul><ul><li>Have a flexible agenda </li></ul><ul><li>Allow for mistakes </li></ul><ul><li>Create for the future </li></ul>
    10. 11. Do unto others as they would have them done unto. The Platinum Rule
    11. 12. Understanding the Senior <ul><li>Changes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Physical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cognitive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Structures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Financial Concerns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Loss </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resiliency </li></ul></ul>
    12. 13. Physical Changes <ul><li>Physical Changes </li></ul><ul><li>Sensory </li></ul><ul><li>- Hearing </li></ul><ul><li>- Smell </li></ul><ul><li>- Taste </li></ul><ul><li>- Vision </li></ul>
    13. 14. Physical Changes <ul><li>Heart </li></ul><ul><li>Lung </li></ul><ul><li>Muscle </li></ul><ul><li>Bone </li></ul>
    14. 15. <ul><li>“ Life is like playing a violin solo in public and learning the instrument as one goes along.” </li></ul><ul><li>Samuel Butler </li></ul>
    15. 16. Cognitive Changes <ul><li>Decline in mental processing speed </li></ul><ul><li>Seniors can process information as well or better as younger people, with adequate time </li></ul><ul><li>Slower storage of new information </li></ul><ul><li>Reaction time slowed </li></ul>
    16. 17. <ul><li>How do you see the signs of aging manifesting with your seniors? </li></ul><ul><li>How could you begin to change your communication now that you know the physiological and cognitive changes of aging? </li></ul>
    17. 18. Social Structures <ul><li>Families </li></ul><ul><li>Caregiving </li></ul><ul><li>Housing </li></ul>
    18. 19. Loss <ul><li>Adapting to changes in physical functioning and limitations </li></ul><ul><li>Social status </li></ul><ul><li>New Roles </li></ul><ul><li>Challenge of giving or receiving care </li></ul><ul><li>Dealing with the death of peers and their own impending demise. </li></ul>
    19. 20. Time, which changes people, does not alter the image we have retained of them. Marcel Proust
    20. 21. To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune, but to lose both looks like carelessness. (The Importance of Being Earnest, 1895)
    21. 22. II. THE conversation <ul><li>Key Ingredients: </li></ul><ul><li>A Safe Space </li></ul><ul><li>Control </li></ul>
    22. 23. <ul><li>Know yourself – acknowledge your concerns – your fears – your hopes </li></ul><ul><li>Take this as an opportunity for soul searching and valuing your relationship with your senior. </li></ul><ul><li>Put away your hopes, concerns and fears in order to serve your senior </li></ul>
    23. 24. Requirements <ul><li>Courage </li></ul><ul><li>Generosity </li></ul><ul><li>Compassion </li></ul><ul><li>Honesty </li></ul><ul><li>Persistence </li></ul><ul><li>Willingness to change your mind! </li></ul><ul><li>When all else fails, see point 1 </li></ul>
    24. 25. Barriers to Communication <ul><li>Judgments </li></ul><ul><li>Having ‘the’ answer </li></ul><ul><li>Being argumentative </li></ul><ul><li>Getting angry </li></ul><ul><li>Getting defensive </li></ul>
    25. 26. Approaches <ul><li>Direct </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Yes or no answers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Indirect </li></ul><ul><ul><li>May involve a personal anecdote </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Could ask reflective questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Give an example of a friend, or a newspaper story </li></ul></ul>
    26. 27. Direct Questions <ul><li>“ Dad, is it true you hit the mailbox yesterday?” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Mom, are you having trouble keeping track of when you take your pills?” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Would it be okay if we had someone help you clean the house?” </li></ul>
    27. 28. Personal Anecdote <ul><li>You know, Mom, the doctor’s office had me complete Advance Directives recently when I had my surgery. It was overwhelming at first, but I was glad to get it done – and now I have it filed in my desk file drawer. </li></ul><ul><li>Have you thought about your Advance Directives – or do you want to see mine? </li></ul><ul><li>I know it’s an awkward subject, but I want you to have the information you need – and vice versa – should we ever need it. </li></ul>
    28. 29. Reflective Questions <ul><li>What do you like about where you live now? </li></ul><ul><li>What else could we do to help you get a ride to events downtown at night? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you think about Mr. Smith’s retirement? </li></ul><ul><li>How would you see yourself retiring? What concerns do you have? </li></ul>
    29. 30. Using Examples <ul><li>Hey Mom, did you see the article in the newspaper about medical identity theft? </li></ul><ul><li>Maybe we should take a look at your pharmacy records again? </li></ul><ul><li>There was a story on the news about a new senior service providing transportation for seniors. Isn’t that a great idea? </li></ul>
    30. 31. Ask questions from the heart, And you will be answered from the heart. Omaha
    31. 32. Sample Agenda <ul><li>Acknowledge the difficulty of the situation. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Changing roles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Difficult subjects </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Look at the facts – be gentle (be sensitive! If there’s any resistance, back-up and create a safe space before proceeding.) </li></ul><ul><li>Ask questions – be curious – look for ways to have the senior control the conversation. </li></ul><ul><li>Identify the outcome you’re both looking for – the future you want to create. Be open to their thoughts and thinking outside the box. </li></ul><ul><li>Inquire into what would help the senior create the next stage of their life as the best part of their life? </li></ul><ul><li>Concrete action items if appropriate. </li></ul>
    32. 33. The Conversation <ul><li>The danger of ‘formulas’ </li></ul><ul><li>The importance of a plan </li></ul><ul><li>The value of understanding the individual </li></ul><ul><li>The commitment that the senior has a high quality of life </li></ul><ul><li>To continually create pathways for conversations. </li></ul>
    33. 34. Pitfalls <ul><li>Taking things personally </li></ul><ul><li>Becoming defensive </li></ul><ul><li>Falling back into old patterns </li></ul>
    34. 35. <ul><li>You know, Aunt Sue, I really don’t want to argue with you. I really do care what happens here. Can we back up and take another look at your home care? Is there something else we can look at? </li></ul><ul><li>So Mom, I know you don’t want to go to the doctor, why don’t we try calling the nurse? Will you think about talking to someone in the doctor’s office? </li></ul>
    35. 36. You can’t hide your true colors as you approach the autumn of your life.
    36. 37. Reaffirm Your Commitment <ul><li>You may need to take a break. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask a sibling for help. </li></ul><ul><li>Get outside assistance. </li></ul><ul><li>Continue the conversation at a later date. </li></ul>
    37. 38. Additional Resources
    38. 39. <ul><li>For more information: </li></ul><ul><li>Catherine Stelianoudakis Prochaska, CSA </li></ul><ul><li>CareMinders Home Care </li></ul><ul><li>67 Lacey Road – Suite 6 </li></ul><ul><li>Whiting, NJ 08759 </li></ul>