As parents grow older, the level of care they require increases. It is important to have a plan in place for when their health and/or physical abilities begin to decline. While this can be a difficult conversation for some families, being properly prepared can help make the transition into senior and end-of-life care easier.
8 Tips for Helping Aging Parents Plan for Senior and End-of-Life Care
You can help your aging parents plan for senior and end-of-life care by having a discussion about their needs and desires, choosing whether or not an assisted living facility is right for them, ensuring they have the care and support they need physically, emotionally, and mentally, and determining how much care each family member can realistically offer. It is also important to discuss the possibility of hospice care if one of your parents has Alzheimer’s disease or another terminal illness.
Have a Discussion About Senior Care and End-of-Life Care
The first step to assisting your parents is to sit them down and have a discussion about senior care and end-of-life care. This should include an examination of their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. You can also explain the various options they have available. Often, parents are hesitant to ask for support as they do not want to place a burden upon their children, and being the first to initiate the conversation can go a long way in ensuring they are able to get the care and support they need as they grow older.
Determine Your Aging Parents Needs and Desires
Another good step to take when ensuring your parents have all of the care they need is to discuss their needs and desires with them. Ask them questions about their health condition, and it may be helpful to schedule a doctor’s visit as well. Once you determine their medical needs, you can also talk to them about their desires for end-of-life care. Remember, the ultimate goal for senior care is to ensure they are happy and able to enjoy an optimal quality of life.
Choosing Between Assisted Living and In-Home Care
It is also important to determine where your loved one will receive the care they need as they grow older. There are various options that may be available, including in their own home, in an in-law suite inside one of their children’s homes, and in an assisted living facility. Of course, the recommended option is largely dependent upon the extent of their support needs and their preferences.
Get The Care Your Parents Need for Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
As parents age, their ability to carry out what are known as activities of daily living (also called ADLs) declines. With a plan in place to address this, your parents can continue living a quality standard of living without feeling as if they are less capable than they were before. This may include hiring a nurse, palliative care, or hospice care (if your loved one has a terminal illness).
Determine How Much Care Your Family Can Reasonably Provide
Parents require more care once they are seniors, and it is important to determine how much care they need and who will be providing the care. Parents are often reluctant to request assistance from their children as they do not want to be a burden, so initiating this conversation so that they do not have to can be helpful.
Be sure to speak with every immediate relative to determine how much care they can provide, and you can plan for professional care to address any additional required care.
Help Your Parents Organize Their Important Documents
Organizing important documents is also a key component of planning for the future as your parents grow older. This may include preparing a will and dealing with other relevant financial documents, arranging insurance information if your parents need palliative or hospice care, and more.
Consider Whether or Not Hospice Care is Needed for End-of-Life Care
Hospice care may be necessary if one of your parents has a terminal illness and is not seeking curative care. For example, you may need hospice care for a parent who has Alzheimer’s disease. Palliative care may be an option if one or both of your parents needs assistance with activities of daily living but does not have a terminal illness.
Take Into Account The Emotional Aspect of Senior and End-of-Life Care
It is important to keep in mind the emotional aspect of discussing senior and end-of-life care, ensuring that you remain patient with your parents throughout every discussion and put their needs and desires at the forefront of the discussion.
Discuss Hospice Care With Harbor Light Hospice Today
Are you considering hospice care for yourself or your loved one? If so, then call us today to discuss the specifics of hospice care from Harbor Light Hospice and find out how we can benefit you and your family.