Families often make plans for the future. Your family has likely planned for holiday events, reunions, and weddings. By now, you’d think you’d be good at covering what to do for any event in the future, but you might still find it difficult to talk about what to do as your senior loved one ages. Your loved one’s future plans need to include things such as where he or she will live and who will take care of him or her. You may also want to talk about your parent’s preferences for end-of-life care and handling his or her estate. These tips can help you make difficult topics easier to cover so everyone knows your loved one’s wishes will be respected.
1. Find a Comfortable Way to Bring Up the Topic
Bringing up future plans out of nowhere might leave your loved one too shocked to have a productive discussion. Using conversation starters may ease your parent into the idea that you want to talk about him or her getting older. You might find a television show or news article you can share. Or you might tell a personal story about someone you know who is already serving as a family caregiver.
One great way to introduce your parent to the idea of getting help at home is to hire a caregiver for a few hours a day or a few days a week. For families living in Tucson, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.
2. Use Your Loved One’s Preferred Terminology
Discussions about end-of-life topics are often difficult, and it’s possible to use the wrong words and upset your loved one. Watch for the words your loved one uses to describe things that happen at the end of someone’s life. You can also think about how he or she has referred to things in the past. For example, your parent might have said a friend “passed away” or “passed on” instead of saying the individual died. Using your parent’s preferred words helps you convey you’re on the same page
3. Create a List of Topics & Questions
Future plans cover a wide range of topics for seniors and their families. This makes it easy to lose track of what you need to talk about. Make a list of the most important topics you need to discuss and put a few questions underneath. For instance, you should cover legal and financial planning, funeral arrangements, and long-term care options. Each of these topics will have questions that vary among families, but you mostly need to find out what your loved one prefers to happen with each one.
4. Provide Plenty of Time for Discussing Senior Care Issues
It would be wonderful if you could have this conversation once and wrap it all up in one convenient file. However, that’s usually not the case. Each of the topics you want to cover could take up an entire day of conversation, and it’s possible your loved one needs time to think about things. Be prepared to make this an ongoing discussion. Making a set time and day to talk about it again is a good way to keep on track.
Remind your loved one he or she isn’t alone. Many older adults are choosing to age in place, and some need a helping hand to continue living at home safely and comfortably. Luckily, there is professional at-home care seniors can trust and rely on
5. Take Direct Action when You Can
Some decisions may need to sit for a while, but there will be several you can do something about right away. Consult with a lawyer to get any legal issues taken care of. Your loved one can set up a power of attorney and write a will. You can also consider starting some level of home care services to get your loved one used to the concept. Taking action now makes it easier to do more in the future.
Your parent may be reassured about receiving help if he or she speaks personally with staff from a trustworthy home care provider. The type of elder care Tucson, AZ, seniors need can vary. Some need assistance a few hours a day, while others require more extensive around-the-clock assistance. At Home Care Assistance, we tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual care needs, and the plans can be adjusted at any time. To talk to one of our friendly Care Managers and create a customized senior care plan, call us at (520) 276-6555.