How to Talk with Your Senior Parent About Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

March 31, 2021

We did it. We made it through 2020, a year that began filled with high expectations and even larger aspirations, that then quickly tumbled into unexpected months of isolation, loneliness, and fear. 

But today, there is hope. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and the medical technology that we have been hoping for – a vaccine. And although this is something that we have all been anticipating to be our saving grace, with it came a bit of hesitancy

As the vaccine has rolled out for almost all healthcare workers and senior care facilities across the country, many 65 and over are now able to receive it as well. Which leaves us with the next question, how can I convince my mom and dad to receive the vaccine?

This isn’t an easy question to answer and we know that all too well, but by providing our residents and their loved ones in our facilities and communities with science-based resources and having intentional conversations, we were able to successfully vaccinate 90% of our senior residents, and 82% of our staff

 

5 Tips for Talking with Your Senior Loved One About the COVID-19 Vaccine

 

 1. Start with compassion and openness.

    • We all know that the conversation around the vaccine has become a complicated one, but remember, most of us are coming from a place of fear, and lack of knowledge. Begin the conversation by reminding them why you care and leave the space open for different opinions and viewpoints to be discussed.

 2. Ask empathetic questions to get a better understanding.

    • Find the source of their hesitancy – Are they reading what their second cousin twice removed read on Facebook? Or did they have a personal experience you were unaware of? 
    • Determine what persona they fall under – There are four personas in varying stages of the decision-making process. By identifying which they are, you can better understand the content types that will resonate with them.

 3. If you don’t know something, admit to that.

    • Don’t try to guess the answer or make something up – Instead respond with, “That’s a great question, let’s do some research together.” then search for an answer on credible, scientific-based sources.

 4. Remind them of the benefits of why they should get it.

    • Return to normal – “the quickest way for life to return to normal is for most people to get vaccinated.”
    • Protect yourself and others – “the vaccine will help protect you from getting sick.”
    • Freedom – “to go places and do things again.”
    • Connection – “being able to spend time with others confidently.” 

 5. Be a part of the process

    • Help make a plan – Do they need help finding a vaccine clinic near them? Or maybe planning transportation? Sit down with them, and assist with making a detailed plan. 

                  – Research vaccination sites and pharmacy providers, CDC’s VaccineFinder is a great tool for your research.

                  – Even go as far as making the appointment for them.

                  – Arrange for transportation to and from their vaccine.

    • Practice what you preach – If you are able to receive a vaccine for yourself, join in and set the example of how you are getting one as well. If you’re not planning to receive the vaccine, how can you expect them to? It’s time to lead others by example.

 

Here at Marquis Companies, we understand how difficult these conversations can be because we’ve had them with all of our senior residents as well. But by taking on these hard next steps together, we are one step closer to normal.