End-of-life planning isn’t a topic seniors enjoy approaching and can even be incredibly scary and intimidating. However, having a conversation with your senior loved one about end-of-life care is an important aspect of making that time as comfortable and positive as possible. Here are some ways to help your loved one feel less frightened about these plans.
1. Approach It Correctly
If you want to have an end-of-life conversation with your loved one, approaching the topic correctly can make a big difference in how frightened or stressed he or she is. Have the conversation when your loved one is relaxed and, ideally, before a terminal diagnosis or a major medical issue is on the horizon, which can make the conversation more difficult. Also, choose a time when neither of you will be rushed so you have the opportunity to fully explore any issues and options during the conversation.
2. Ensure Your Loved One’s Wishes Will Be Honored
One of the biggest fears seniors have about end-of-life planning is that their wishes won’t be respected during the planning stages or when they need to be enacted. When making plans with your loved one, it’s important to remember he or she may make decisions you wouldn’t or don’t agree with. Regardless, your loved one will feel much less afraid of end-of-life planning if he or she knows you will uphold these decisions both now and in the future.
3. Provide Information About Options and Address His or Her Concerns
Seniors may be afraid of end-of-life planning and receiving Palm Beach at-home care because they don’t know what options are available and are wary of the few options they’ve heard about. For instance, many seniors dread the idea of passing away in a hospital or nursing home surrounded by staff and lacking the creature comforts of home. Letting your loved one know there are many different ways to approach end-of-life care can make the planning less frightening. Have your loved one make a list of concerns he or she would like to address during your planning session and provide alternatives for these issues.
4. Let Your Loved One Know Family Will Be Taken Care Of
Some seniors are concerned about what will happen to their family after they pass. Often, thinking about other family members’ needs isn’t a standard part of end-of-life planning, but for some seniors it can be an extremely important consideration. Talk with your loved one about whether he or she wants to ensure there will be grief counseling services available or if he or she wants a pastor or other spiritual practitioner to visit the family. Also, ensure your loved one has a legal will to make certain his or her relatives are provided for.
In addition to end-of-life decisions, another sensitive topic that may need to be discussed is ongoing care. If your loved one prefers to remain in the comfort of home for as long as possible, Home Care Assistance can help. Our trusted caregivers are expertly trained to keep seniors comfortable and safe as they age in place. If your loved one needs more extensive assistance, we also offer specialized Parkinson’s, stroke, and dementia care in Palm Beach. For more information on our senior care services, call one of our qualified Care Managers today at 561.429.8292.