Many people of the baby boomer generation are helping their parents move on to the next phase of their life and I know from my own personal experience, sometimes there’s too much information, it can be too confusing and it’s hard to get a decision. When I’m thinking about helping someone make a good decision, usually what people do is they say, listen I think you should do this or I’d like you to do that or they give them too many choices; we could do this or this or this. That’s just too many options and that doesn’t help with the confusion.
My top tip for helping seniors make a good decision would be to state what it is that you think they want. So first of all, before you even state that, have a discussion with them about what’s important to them and notice the exact words that they choose. Like, I want to be independent or I don’t want anyone bothering me or I don’t want people telling me what to do. So that whenever you do make a suggestion to help them make a decision, let them know that you’ve been thinking about it. And say something like, you know, I’ve been thinking, you said you don’t want people to be bothering you and you want to be independent, so my suggestion so that you can be independent and not have anybody bothering you would be to have a look at a couple of places that might not be so bad. Now, here’s my suggestion, do not be enthusiastic. If you say that might not be so bad, it’s a lot easier for your parents to hear this from you rather than you saying, I’ve got this great place that you should check out because I’m sure you’ll like it. That’s bound to put their hackles up. So state their goal, what is important to them and then make a suggestion, it’s just a suggestion of course, to an option or two that might not be so bad. And here’s another tip. If you know they’re in a mode to reject everything that you say, show them a couple of unacceptable options first and then show them one that you think they may like so they’ll get all the negative stuff out of the way and then pick a positive stuff. So if you’re looking for alternative living arrangements, take them to two places that you think they won’t like. Don’t be enthusiastic, just say, I want to take you there to see what you think about this and they’ll say, oh, no, no, I don’t like that; take them to another, oh, no, no, I don’t like that. And then take them to the third place that you think meets their criteria, meets what they want and have them have a look at it, and don’t you be too enthusiastic. And these are some of the top tips for how to help a senior make a decision.
There’s a lot of things for seniors to consider and they could use your help. Good luck. For more tips on communication, check out www.ShellesTopTips.com If you are interested in booking me (Shelle Rose Charvet) for a presentation, keynote or workshop contact me at [email protected].