Explore The 4 Things You Should Know About Planning for End of Life Care

By: | Tags: | Comments: 0 | March 9th, 2017

As the child of an aging parent, it’s important to understand what to expect and what to do. Aging is simply a part of life, and with old age come different challenges. Can your loved one remain in their home? Are they losing mobility? What about potential cognitive problems?

Sometimes, simply requiring more care will need a lot of consideration. That’s why it’s important to begin planning end of life care early. Here are 4 things you should know about it.

1. Keep Open Lines of Communication

It’s very important for either you, your partner, or your parents to know expectations and preferences. That goes beyond medical wishes, and should also include how they see the remaining years of their life.

For some people, staying in their home is the only option. But what happens if the home becomes too much for them? In-home caregiving could be an option that allows for extra care without having to leave the home, but communicating about that option early and honestly is key.

Open communication allows you to stay on the same page, and try to understand everyone’s point of view. Recognizing your loved one’s wishes will help you understand what you can do to keep them as happy as possible. Additionally, it also lets them know what they can expect from you, and how you are capable of helping them.

2. Don’t Take On Too Much

Dealing with an aging or ill family member, and especially a parent, can be a very stressful and exhausting situation. Many adults find it difficult to be firm and assertive, essentially engaging in a role reversal with an elderly parent used to respect.

Alternatively, your loved one may have a condition that will only continue to worsen. In either case, you need to be realistic about how much help you can provide them. In no situation should you take on more than you can, which can be detrimental to everyone involved. Instead, look the right course of action for them.

For example, if your loved one is ill and can no longer take care of themselves, try to find a way that includes quality care. But you should not be concerned about having to send them to an external facility or shouldering the load yourself, because you do have other options.

Caregiving, in fact, can be done inside the home. Your loved one doesn’t have to be displaced from their home to receive the care they need; instead, the care comes to them. Whether it’s bathing, dressing, and even feeding your loved one, you can go back to work and your daily life knowing that they are well taken care of. And if their illness is debilitating, take the advice of a caregiver to understand when they need more help, or when an external facility becomes more beneficial.

3. Know The Answers To Tough Questions

This step can be a significant help for individuals who are nearing the end of their lives. In short, it is critical to know the wishes of your loved ones. They may ask to not be resuscitated or the treatments of their ailments may need to be discontinued. In either case, you should know the answer that is best for everyone involved.

Especially if your loved one suffers from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, make sure you know what they want to do before it gets worse. As the disease worsens, they may not be able to reliably give you their most honest answers anymore.

4. Be Sure To Get Help And Ask Questions

Growing old is a part of life. As your loved ones age, it’s important to get prepared. Instead of putting too much pressure on yourself, the above steps can help you do that.

Through open communication and an understanding of the best way to take care of them, you can develop a plan for their future. Especially if you are the child taking care of your parents, you have a difficult path to walk. But fortunately, you aren’t in it alone. There is always help, and when you need it you shouldn’t hesitate to seek it out.

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