Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Dreaded Conversation

Caregiving is a family affair and should be discussed as a group first out of the presence of the parent. Siblings need to make plans by agreeing on or suggesting a:

1. A durable power of attorney for healthcare

2. One person in charge of financial decisions

How does a worried family member persuade a headstrong parent that moving into a long-term care facility is in their best interest?

The following is some advice I've read:

It's never too early to discuss the possibility of an elderly parent moving into a nursing home or assisted living. Mention your serious concerns about their health and safety.

Ask the parent to indulge you by visiting an assisted living facility (they may be surprised at how nice they can be). Here's how the conversation can go: "I can't make decisions about how you should run your life. It would make me feel better, though, if we could go together to look at some possible assisted living facilities so that you're better informed about what choices are available. Would you be willing to humor me in that way?"

Many places allow week or month long visits to help the parent determine if the facility "feels" right.

However, oftentimes a parent needs to feel vulnerable before they will approach the subject. They might fall, feel spooked, or are unable to deal with household duties.

If or when that happens, you can have a strategy in place.


Anonymous said...

All good things come to an end.

Diane J Standiford said...

My mother and I discussed this when I was 10 and she was 39. Now she is 82 and in a nursing home. A smooth transition. NEVER too early.

Ms. 50something said...

You were way ahead of everybody else. My octogenarian in-laws did not want to discuss death.