Talking To Your Parents About Their Changing Health Needs

Written by on August 22, 2013 in Family - No comments | Print this page


happyseniorcouple_1Though we are aware of our parents aging, it may be difficult to broach the topic of long-term care preferences with parents who are thriving in their retirement and enjoying their golden years.

It’s easy to put tough conversations and complicated decisions out of your mind. However, it’s not wise to put off addressing those “what-ifs” in favor of just waiting and avoiding an uncomfortable realities.

Once the need for medical supervision arrives, it’s much easier to handle if your parents’ wishes have been anticipated and planned for. Opening up a discussion can be as easy as expressing your concerns regarding your family‘s health history. The only wrong time to get started is later.

Assistance Care

Not all of those people over the age of 65 will need long-term or Alzheimer’s care, but the majority of individuals will require some form of assistance care at some point prior to the end of their life.

We all have the goal of living and thriving until we pass on quietly, ideally peacefully in our own homes. Unfortunately, this is often not the case.

By working together to design the ideal end-of-life plan, families avoid the guilt and heartbreak that often accompanies short-notice care decisions that are made at the time of need, instead of pre-planned, thoughtfully outlined arrangements with everyone’s considerations in mind.

Chronic conditions such as emphysema, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and many other health-related problems may progress as your parent ages.

The inevitable outcome could create the need for oxygen, a wheelchair, physical therapy, and may even call for an assisted living situation. Having your parent understand that the outcome may require additional care beyond what you can alone provide is best understood early-on.

The longer you wait, the more complications may occur down the road.

Alzheimer’s Care

Should your parent receive a diagnosis of dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease, it’s essential to work together in deciding on Alzheimer’s care when mom or dad are no longer able to care for themselves.

The older the patient, the greater the need for care, so discussing options even prior to diagnosis is beneficial for all concerned. When the time comes to put a plan in motion, your parents and loved ones will take comfort in knowing that they help orchestrate and decide on their own care.

Alzheimer’s care and memory loss care from a skilled nursing provider is the optimum environment for an individual suffering from dementia. Diseases like Alzheimer’s progress and take a toll physically as well as cognitively, so helping mom or dad adjust to new surroundings early on will ease the transition all the way around.

It’s never easy to address Alzheimer’s care options with a loved one. Finding ways to determine the best avenue for your mom and dad in their later years requires an open mind as well as an open heart.

Listen openly to your parents’ goals and desires, but provide the voice of reason so no one has to face these decisions blindly. Knowledge is power and having knowledge of your options for the future puts you, and your parents, in the driver’s seat, and what better way to exercise your independence?

Marilyn Smith specializes in covering the latest news in senior care and senior lifestyles, including Alzheimer’s care.


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