For these families, the holidays also represent an ideal opportunity for discussing 'what if' scenarios regarding senior care for aged loved ones. Why are such discussions necessary, and how can they help a family with a loved one who may be in need of assistance?
Why You Need a Plan for Senior Care
It is likely that no one in your family relishes the idea of discussing all the 'what if' situations that may arise if a beloved family member's physical or mental health begins to decline. But the reality is that it is also quite likely that at least one of your 'what if' scenarios may turn out to be true at some point.
AARP reports: "Today, 30 million households are providing care for an adult over the age of 50 - and that number is expected to double in the next 25 years. For many Americans, life at 40, 50, and even 60 years old will include care for an aging parent or relative. As the nation grows older, the need for caregiving will be as common as the need for childcare."
Even if your loved one never needs a caregiver, having a plan in place to handle anything that comes up will help give your loved one and your entire family peace of mind, knowing that you can handle any unexpected issues that may arise.
Talking about 'What Ifs' during the Holidays
While you do not want to dampen the festive spirit of the season, the holidays provide a convenient time to casually discuss some potential issues while your loved ones are all present and in a relaxed state of mind.
Typically, discussing such matters during the holidays may be limited to broad brush strokes only, but you can always agree upon a time to take up the conversation in more detail later. The important thing is to open the door to future discussion.
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Choose the appropriate setting. The dinner table, for instance, might not be the best place to begin such a discussion.
- Choose the right person to broach the subject. While your parents love their children equally, in every family there is usually someone who communicates better with mom and dad than anyone else.
- Include your senior in the discussion. Unless your loved one is already suffering a mental decline, he or she is capable of and should be a part of the discussion.
- Remember that humor soothes sore topics. The family that is able to laugh together heals together.
- Agree upon one person to coordinate future, more in-depth discussions. This will ensure that there is appropriate follow-through and that the whole family is on the same caregiving page.
Keeping the Joy in Joyful Occasions
When you approach caregiving topics with a clear view that you are doing so out of love and respect for your senior, such discussions can add to the joy of the holiday occasion rather than detract from it. Providing your loved ones the dignity and kindness they deserve helps keep family bonds strong, not just on the holidays, but every day of the year.
If your family would like to explore how home health care may provide needed assistance to your loved one, contact us today.