Date: December 26, 2022

Author: Kathleen Boziwick

As the caregiver of an elderly loved one, you hope that your loved one is comfortable talking to you about anything that concerns him. But the truth is, many older generation folks have a hard time talking about sensitive subjects. It can be that they were raised to never talk about certain topics, or they might simply not want to be a bother. They might also be embarrassed about something they are struggling with or they are afraid that if they talk to someone about it, it will lead to other actions they don’t want to take.

While it’s important to reassure your loved one that they can talk to you about anything, it’s also a good idea to give them others they can talk to as well. It can be a senior care provider that visits each week, their physician, or another family member. The important is that they have someone to talk to.

So, what might your loved one be nervous about talking about with you? Here are five common concerns that many elderly individuals sometimes have a hard time discussing.

Alcohol Use

Your loved one might be concerned that he is drinking too much. Alcoholism can strike at any age and because how the body processes alcohol in older individuals changes, what might not have felt like a problem for decades may become one. You, your senior care provider, or other family members might notice a problem before your loved one mentions it but listen, don’t judge, and help him find resources to help.


Your loved one may be slowly losing his confidence to drive safely but is afraid to give it up completely. If his driving has become dangerous, look for alternate solutions such as a senior care provider driving him to appointments or using public transportation.

Depression or Feeling Sad

Depression is common in the elderly and can often be caused by the loss of a loved one or a loss of an ability due to a disease. If you’ve noticed your loved one struggling with grief, depression, or mourning for an extended time, it might be time to seek out help for him. If you or your senior care provider also notice connected symptoms such as extreme fatigue, loss of interest, or poor appetite, he might need professional help and medication to help him recover.


Your loved one might be nervous to talk about “wetting himself,” so it might be helpful if you give him words to talk about it that don’t sound like something a naughty child did. Encourage him to discuss bladder control or incontinence and reassure him that it’s not his fault.

Memory Loss

Your loved one might be most concerned to talk about things he is struggling to remember. Some memory loss is normal with aging, but any memory loss that interferes with daily life (like forgetting how to get home), will need to be evaluated. Many older adults struggle to talk about this because of the fear of a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Encouraging your loved one that you’re there for them will perhaps give them the courage to talk about it.

Having an open door to any conversations before the hard ones come up can help you and your loved one tackle anything that may be troubling him.

Date: December 26, 2022