TIPS FOR DISCUSSING LONG TERM CARE OPTIONS

Create a List

Write down all your concerns. Does a loved one make mistakes with medication? Are you worried that their home has become overwhelming and unsafe?   Is your loved one physically, cognitively, emotionally or financially at risk? Is your loved one isolated from social contact? Has there been an increased susceptibility for fall?

Educate yourself

Do not be afraid to ask questions or to ask for help. As you learn more about senior care options, you will start to understand the best fit for your loved one. Be aware that windows of opportunity open and close throughout the aging process, so make sure to take into consideration how much care and assistance is needed presently and what may be needed in the future.

Support

Create a support mechanism and get as close geographically to that support as possible. If family is not able to be that support mechanism leverage friends and professionals with experience in long term care planning.

Planning versus Reacting

Ask for input from the senior you are worried about. Find out what environment they would be most comfortable in. What may be the best environment for you or a friend may not be the best for the loved one in need.

It is easier to make a decision with a clear head rather than facing a crisis. By planning ahead, you can find the quality of care and quality of life you desire for yourself or loved one. Seek the advice of professionals that can explain the available options and which would be the most appropriate.

Talk in person

This isn’t a conversation to have by telephone if you can avoid it. Instead, pick a day when you and your loved one are well-rested and relaxed. Block out a time and a location where you can talk without interruption.

Empathy – not sympathy.

No older adult wants their child to feel sorry for them nor do they want to be a burden to family or caregivers. Remember to be considerate of your loved one’s dignity as they lose their independence and mobility. Treat them, and the situation, with respect.