Senior in-home care, san diego, ca –
Are You Prepared to Care for Aging Parents?
By Nancy Mann Jackson
Step 1 of the three steps you can take to be ready to help with your parents’ care:
1. Start the conversation.
Talking with your parents or other relatives about their health-care preferences may be uncomfortable, but waiting until they need care is too late. “Families need to talk before they need answers,” says Patricia Maisano, CEO and founder of IKOR USA, which provides advocacy services for seniors. “Before crises, there are many more choices in everything. When you wait until a crisis arises, those choices diminish significantly.” During a crisis, siblings could disagree about medical care, finances and living situations, Maisano says. And if a parent is incapacitated, his or her own preferences are unlikely to be heard or followed.
In general, Huber says, a good time to begin talking about parents’ health care is when parents are in their 70s and children are in their 40s. He and his brother, both in their 40s, recently sat down with their parents and went through Home Instead’s free Senior Emergency Kit, which offers a checklist of basic information that adult children should know about their parents, such as physicians’ names, medications and doses, allergies, and how to access advance health-care directives.
Starting these conversations can be difficult. “If children initiate the discussion, they should explain to the parent that they want to make sure they are aware of the parent’s wishes, and that they will best be able to see to those wishes if the lines of communication remain open,” Maisano says.
CaregiverStress.com offers a number of resources to get these “40/70″ conversations started, including techniques for diffusing the emotions involved in such discussions.
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