|Arrange the ideal place to talk.|
First, decide whether to conduct your conversation in person or
over the phone. These days, with family members living far apart, it's tempting
to talk about important eldercare issues via the wires. But before you dial
that number be aware that reading facial expressions and body language plays
an important part in knowing when to change communication tactics or to back
For example, how will you know if your elder is nervous or uncomfortable — frowning, tapping a foot, or looking at the clock — or know whether your elder seems relaxed — smiling and looking you in the eyes? Reading body language will help you to know how your elder is feeling. Physically being there allows you to acknowledge your elder in various ways such as moving your body forward (or away), touching, nodding your head, and making eye contact.
If you choose to talk face-to-face, think ahead as to where to have the conversation. Pick a quiet place where your elder can clearly hear what you are saying and a location that is free from distractions. As a rule, holiday family parties are not an ideal time to discuss eldercare issues. Such gatherings tend to revive historical relationship patterns; and other family members who are present may purposely sabotage your efforts to hold a conversation with your elders.
A restaurant setting also has its limitations. Uninterrupted conversations are practically impossible in such a location, and elders can easily feel as though they are on the hot seat with nowhere to run. Setting aside time to talk doesn't mean that you have to hold a formal meeting. Sometimes the best discussions take place while you're driving the car or puttering around the kitchen.