Many caregivers are all the way there for every aspect of the caregiving journey, but then find it difficult to talk about end-of-life issues with their aging family member. If that is something you’ve found tough to do, these tips can help.
Ask Her What’s Most Important to Her in the Later Stages of Her Life
You might think that certain aspects would be most important to your senior in the last phases of her life, but she could surprise you. For instance, you might think that she would want to take all curative treatments to their furthest possible limits. That may not be what she wants. She may want to be able to relax at home with the people that she loves. That’s why it’s important to ask specifically what she finds most important.
Determine What Decisions Still Need to Be Made
If you and your senior haven’t talked about end-of-life issues yet, you might not realize that she has already made some decisions. Your senior may have seen friends and family members in certain situations at the ends of their lives and made decisions about her own care. Talk to her about what she already knows for a fact and what still needs to be decided so that you can put effort in the right places.
Get a Full Picture of What Treatments She Does Want
Part of making those decisions is narrowing down what treatments and procedures your senior wants and which ones she definitely doesn’t want. At a certain point in cancer treatment, for instance, your elderly family member may opt out of chemotherapy or radiation treatments. When you’re aware of her wishes, you and the rest of her family can make sure that she has what she wants.
Narrow Down Who She Wants Most Involved with Her Care at the End
Your senior may have some specific ideas about who is helping with her care at the end, too. She may be reticent about some family members seeing her in a certain way or she may want you to hire end-of-life care providers so that you can focus more on just being there with her. Talk to her about who she wants around her during those stages so that you can plan accordingly.
You can space out these conversation starters if it feels as if your senior needs time to think through what you’re asking. The most important part of what you’re doing with these questions is determining how you can help her to have the transition that she wants to have at the end of her life.
If you or an aging parent are considering end-of-life care in Norristown, PA, please contact the caring staff at Serenity Hospice today. Call (215) 867-5405.
A veteran of providing quality healthcare, Michael has served with distinction in a variety of leadership capacities for nearly two decades, notably as administrator for several Skilled Nursing Facilities in New Jersey. Known as an innovative and solution-oriented individual, Michael has his finger on the pulse on new trends and concepts in providing quality care.
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