Seniors & the COVID Vaccine: Talking to Your Loved One About Getting Vaccinated
For caregivers, it may be especially hard to talk to your aging loved one about getting vaccinated. With so much differing information circling our everyday lives, it can be especially difficult to dispel qualms about vaccine hesitancy.
Yet, just because a conversation is difficult, doesn’t mean you should avoid it altogether! When it comes to having ‘the vax talk,’ here are a few pointers for navigating this necessary conversation!
When starting any difficult conversation, it helps to start from an empathetic place of connection. Remember, this is a conversation, not a lecture! Remind them that it’s okay to have worries about the vaccine.
Explore their Concerns
Once you have connected, you can explore their concerns. It’s great to ask open-ended questions. Your goal is to get them talking beyond a simple “yes” or “no.” Some great open-ended questions would be:
‣ Why are you worried about this vaccine?
‣ What do you know about the vaccine?
‣ Why do you think you feel that way?
While allowing your loved one to share their concerns, it’s important that you listen! Do not simply shut down or interrupt them. If you hear misinformation, don’t roll your eyes or shut it down. Conversations are less fruitful if one party is doing all the talking!
Ask Permission to Share Information
If your loved one brings up misinformation, ask permission to share information that is truthful. Don’t just pull up your source of choice. Instead, work with your loved one to find a source of information that they trust. It should be accredited and have a scientific authority on the subject. This could be from reputable sources like the CDC or WHO.
Share Your Personal Experience
Sometimes the best data is in your own grasp! If you have already been vaccinated, you are a treasure trove of first hand data. Let your loved one ask you questions about your experience. Be honest about what the side effects were like, what your fears were, and how you felt every step of the process.
Empower them through understanding
Remember, getting a vaccine is an empowering thing. It allows us to not only protect ourselves, but protect those around us. It allows us to feel safe in crowded spaces. It allows us to protect our younger children who cannot be vaccinated yet.
Help your loved one transform their understanding of the vaccine. This is not a hassle, this is a moment of empowerment!