Many times family members are reluctant to talk much about caregiving needs in the future. It’s a scary conversation to have and it can be a difficult one, too. But the sooner you delve into those details, the better for everyone involved.
Talk about Details as Early as You Can.
The biggest mistake that you can make as a caregiver is to wait too long to talk with your elderly family member about caregiving in the future. It might seem as if you have all the time in the world, but circumstances can change rapidly. Make the time to sit down with your elderly family member and start a conversation about the future.
Dig Down into Details.
These conversations go much better if you’re digging down into the details of what she wants and needs from you. Does your elderly family member want to live with you when she isn’t able to continue living on her own? If you don’t talk about it, there may come a time when you need to make a decision and you don’t know what your senior wants. The last thing you want to is to make a wrong choice because you didn’t know your senior’s preference.
Establish Some Backup Plans.
Situations and circumstances change, so it’s possible that you and your aging family member make a plan that later has to change as well. If you talk about backup plans and contingencies now, you can accommodate those if you need to. For instance, your elderly family member may not be interested in living in an assisted living situation at all, but if something happens to you, she may find that an acceptable second choice.
Find as Much Help as You Can.
When you know when to start lining up help, you can do so much more readily than if you wait until there is an emergent situation. Other family members, senior care providers, and friends are all options that you may want to start utilizing now. You may also want to look into what sorts of agencies help the elderly in your area so that you have that information now and in the future.
The more details that you and your elderly family member can talk about now, the better for everyone concerned. These aren’t always comfortable conversations, but they’re definitely necessary. Remember to remain as compassionate as you can about the topics you’re discussing.