During October’s Long-Term Care Planning Month, sit down with your parents and siblings and discuss future or upcoming senior care plans. Caregivers, whether it’s someone you hire or care you provide on your own, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each. Make sure you address each of these questions.
Do Your Parents Have Advance Directives in Place?
If your parent is unable to talk after a stroke or car crash, this legal paperwork addresses things like feeding tubes, do not resuscitate orders or ventilators. If there is no hope for survival, would your parents want to be connected to machines keeping them alive?
While advance directives are drawn up, your mom and dad should consider choosing someone to be a medical power of attorney. If they can’t state their wishes and make medical decisions, their power of attorney would do so in their place.
Would Your Parents Want to Downsize?
If the family home became too much to manage later in life, would your parent prefer to move to something smaller with the living space all on one level?
If your parent does like the idea of downsizing, it’s ideal to do it while your parent can decide what goes and what stays. You want them to be active in choosing and designing a new home.
Do You Have Time to Help?
When your parents need help with daily activities, do you have the time available to help? Many family caregivers balance their own family lives with jobs and care of a parent. It’s stressful and may not be the best solution.
It’s important to be open when discussing your time. You may not see yourself providing all the care your parent needs. It’s not selfish. Don’t let anyone convince you that you’re being selfish if you opt not to. You know your responsibilities and time constraints better than anyone.
Which Activities of Daily Living Would Your Parents Not Want You Helping With?
-Pride plays a part in what your mom and dad will let you help with. Private daily tasks like bathing, toileting, and dressing may be things your parents don’t want you being part of. Respect their wishes.
-Ideally, talk about all the different areas that seniors can need help as they get older. Find out what your parent would want you helping with and what they wouldn’t. Keep those in mind when planning long-term senior care.
-You might need to hire caregivers to help with morning routines like taking a shower and brushing teeth. Caregivers may be preferred for toileting and putting on undergarments.
-Even if you decide the family will provide the care your parents need, respite care is something to consider. With respite care, caregivers take over for a few hours so that you can run errands, spend time