Page 14 - Senior Housing Directory 2021 South Central Michigan
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 Preparing for the Caregiving Conversation
When it comes to communicating aging concerns knowing how to start the conversa- tion is often the first obstacle. The next great- est trial seems to be avoiding family conflicts, especially among sibling family caregivers. Knowing how to start the discussion about sensitive subjects can be challenging. Include both the aging adult and the adult child(ren).
If you have not considered what your future choices might be then this guide will give you some places to begin. Read about the options for long-term care, covering costs for care, being an advocate, and helping with a suc- cessful hospital discharge.
Let the planning begin. Leading into retirement and Medicare is the time to start observing and gathering information carefully and thoughtfully about health and long-term care wishes. Now is the time to set up your legal documents and to make your wishes known. It is always better to plan 20 years too early than one day too late.
Communicate. Communicate. Commu- nicate. We all have had moments of unin- tended risk or forgetfulness but it’s important to know when to be concerned. Don't reach
a conclusion from a single episode, observa- tion, or experience. Rather, gather information with an open mind and talk with your spouse
and adult children. Approach family with a con- versation in mind. Discuss what you're thinking and ask if they have observed any situations that they have questions or concerns about.
If so, be willing to listen to concrete examples and ask what they think would be good solu- tions. You should be actively engaged in the solution process and what works for you.
Don't delay the conversation. Talk soon- er rather than later when a crisis has occurred. As an example, if you know you have poor eyesight or trouble driving at night, address those issues before a problem arises. The sooner you begin, the greater your options and control in the decision making process.
Ask and expect your loved ones to start the conversation when they notice:
• An accident occurs.
• Health concerns change lifestyle.
• Unusual behaviors.
• Finances are neglected.
• Confusion with managing medications. • Parent loosing a lot of weight.
• Parent neglecting basic hygiene.
• Clutter, bills, and mail pilling up.
• Appears in inappropriate clothing.
• Missing appointments.
• Forgetfulness becomes dominant.
• Signs of depression.
• Care needs exceed manageability. • Safety becomes an issue.
Maximize independence. Help your loved ones to know that you are intentionally seeking to find solutions that provide the maximum amount of independence for both you and them.
Look for answers that optimize strengths and can compensate for challenges and concerns. Only add in support services that are necessary to continue to live as independently as possible.
If you, or your loved one, need help at home, identify what assistance is actually needed. Look for tools that can help while allowing you to maintain use of current strengths. As an example, maybe meal prepa- ration is still enjoyable but assistance is needed with light housework. Be willing to recognize that sometimes a change in environment might be just what is needed to thrive once again and to give you peace of mind.
Be aware of the whole situation. If your spouse passes and soon afterward the house seems to be in disarray, it's probably not because of a sudden illness. It's much
• Rehab to Home
• Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy Services
• Long-Term Skilled Nursing
• Respite Care
• Admissions 24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a week
• Private Rooms Available
• Cable and Wi-Fi
                              111 EVERGREEN ROAD, SPRINGFIELD, MI 49037
269-969-6110 |

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