Some important conversations never seem to get started because we’re afraid we already know how they end. That can make it difficult to plan ahead sometimes and particularly when it comes to discussing care options and living arrangements with older parents or loved ones.
But it doesn’t have to be that hard, according to local experts.
Doug Feltman, President of Home Helpers in Fort Lee, says starting the conversation can be easier with a little preparation. “Every family is different and there’s never been a cookie-cutter answer,” said Mr. Feltman. “We’ll never find the answer that’s right for our families if we never have the conversation.”
Home Helpers of Fort Lee supports seniors and their families across Bergen County and Manhattan. Feltman says that a mistake some people make is trying to be a hero and leading with a solution. “If you start out by saying something like ‘Mom, I’ve been thinking …’ or ‘Dad, you should …’ you’re going to put them on the defensive from the beginning,” Feltman explains. “The individual needs to be included in considering all the options.”
Feltman has found that this “hero” approach also creates disputes between family members. “In every family there’s one person who tends to organize things,” he said. “But this is an emotional topic and everybody who has a stake in it should at least be consulted.”
And that means?
“Talk to each other,” he adds.
The problem comes up so often with families served by Home Helpers that the company created a guide to help seniors and their loved ones start the conversation. It’s available for free at www.passionatecaregivers.com.
“Ultimately, you have to remember who is making the decisions,” Feltman said. “And as long as they’re competent to do so, that always going to be the senior, him- or herself.”
For a free copy of Home Helpers’ Eight Ways to Start the Conversation, call 201-655-8688].
Home Helpers also offers free in-home evaluations for seniors to help them and their families gauge what if any assistance they might need
About Home Helpers of Fort Lee
Home Helpers of Fort Lee is one of the region’s leading home care franchises specializing in comprehensive services for seniors. Home Helpers’ sole mission is to make life easier for clients and their families. Based in Fort Lee and Edgewater, NJ and Manhattan, the company serves the communities of Southern Bergen County and Manhattan. For more information or to request a free in-home care assessment, contact Douglas Feltman, owner, via email—Doug@homehelpershomecare.com—or phone (201)-655-8688. Visit us at www.passionatecaregivers.com.
About Home Helpers
Founded in 1997, Cincinnati-based Home Helpers is one of the nation’s leading senior-care franchises, specializing in comprehensive home care services for seniors, expectant and new mothers, those recovering from illness or injury and individuals facing lifelong challenges. Home Helpers currently has a presence in more than 600 communities across North America and is seeking qualified franchise candidates in strategic communities throughout the country. Home Helpers was recently ranked the #1 Senior Care Franchise and “Best of the Best” by Entrepreneur magazine for the fifth straight year and continues to lead the way in the senior-care industry. Home Helpers is affiliated with Direct Link Help At The Touch Of A Button, a national provider of medical alert units, including a 24-hour personal emergency response system, an automated medication dispenser and vital signs monitoring units that enable seniors to feel safer and live independently at home for longer than might otherwise be possible. Home Helpers does not discriminate against anyone on the basis of religion, race, sex, color, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age or sexual preference in connection with employment or acceptance, treatment, or participation in its programs, services and activities. For more information on Home Helpers and franchising opportunities, visit www.homehelpershomecare.com.