Today’s modern caregiving is vastly different than our parent’s version of caregiving.
Yesteryear, it was almost unheard of to place your elder parent in a nursing home, or convalescent facility. Today, multi-unit facilities are flourishing. Rooms, apartments, recreation directors, planned excursions, if you are able, are now the common-place landscape in our older senior and elder’s lives.
No longer does the new generation of new caregiving baby boomers and seniors welcome their parents into their homes. With that change in lifestyle comes opportunity and challenges. One of the challenges is not being prepared for the inevitable ageing process. Even simple knowledge of when can’t a parent no longer take care of themselves, or where are the local facilities. Then once the simplest of information begins to be known, more questions arise, such as, what type of common rooms are available, and is there a post office at the facility, are there excursions, entertainment, how are doctor’s visits handled, what are living quarters, and financial obligations needs to be addressed.
Don’t be in the dark about your parent’s needs. You definitely won’t have all the answers, but at least you won’t be completely in the dark of the next step of your elder’s care needs.
The first step is to talk to them about their wants and expectations during their various phases of elder-ageing. It should be an open conversation. One they have certainly thought about many times, and may be embarrassed or afraid to discuss with you. Yet, that first conversation is of the utmost importance. It will open up the honesty of the end- of-living conversation, also.
Have a little bit of knowledge of that which is expected and eventually necessary, it will help to keep open lines of communication and a calmer, better equipped caregiver…you.