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Having the health talk with your elder parents

It isn't easy watching your parents get older, particularly when their health isn't as strong as it was. How do you talk to your parents about your concerns?

It isn't easy getting older, particularly when you see your parents age. You remember the days when they had lots of energy and their minds were sharp. And the less you're with them, the more pronounced these changes stand out. 

If you notice health changes then you want to do a little detective work. Keep in mind that there are normal age-related changes. It's the more serious health changes like having difficulty seeing when driving or walking up steps that are more worrisome. You ask your parent what changes they've noticed. What's become more difficult or challenging for them. Ask about their last medical appointment and what concerns if any their physician had. 

Before you talk to your parents about your specific concerns, chat with your siblings to get their perspective. What changes have they seen? Or, any concerns they might have. You want to get on the same page before talking to your parents because it can be overwhelming for your parent to have all their kids listing concerns. 

Realize that this is a sensitive topic. Your parent is very used to being independent, in control of their lives and taking care of you. There can be some denial and anger. Be understanding. You can offer to go to the physician with them. This would allow you to ask questions. After you get all the information then you can come up with a plan of action.

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