For some of our elderly loved ones, getting older can be highly emotional and also somewhat scary. We can find ourselves locked in emotionally charged situations that can spiral downward quickly. Here are some tips for dealing with, and even avoiding, these very stressful times.
- Plan Ahead – None of us really likes the idea of facing our parents’ mortality, but pretending like the aging process isn’t happening to all of us won’t help anyone. When your loved one is in good health is the perfect time to have discussions about what he or she wants later in life. This is also the time to discuss financials. At GoCare, we see families all too often who don’t have any idea what the financial situation is until they are in crisis mode. There may also be special situations involved. For instance, my husband has a handicapped sister. As the executor and trustee, he needs to know the specifics of her trust and wishes for her care. Life brings us surprises, but with good planning we can lessen the burden of some of the more unpleasant surprises.
- Ask for Help! – I understand being stubbornly independent very well. Especially in our age of information with access to so much on the internet, we so often feel that we can do things without anyone else’s help, and, sometimes, that is true. There are so many things that we can learn to do online, but there are some things that truly need a professional. When it comes to navigating questions about Medicaid, Assisted Living or Memory Care, board and care home or larger facility and what that means in terms of care and cost, it’s good to call in a professional. Medicaid specialists, case managers, and senior advocates and placement specialists, like Todd, can really take the pressure off when it comes to understanding and making decisions.
- Don’t Discount the Emotions – While we don’t have to feed the drama, we also have to remember that this can be a difficult time in life for many people. Health can be poor, friends and spouses pass away; we have to acknowledge the difficulties. Remember as well that reactions and sensitivities may be heightened because of these and other factors. Understand that often what looks like an overreaction to a small thing may really be an underlying fear. Allow the feelings to exist without letting them drive decision making and relationships.
What most of us want is to enjoy life and enjoy time with our loved ones without undue stress. Following these three tips can help ease the anxiety tremendously and help you get that time with your loved ones that you really want.