Beginning the Conversation

As baby boomers, those born between 1945 and 1964, start to enter retirement, they have begun to realize that their parents are sharing the blessing of a longer lifespan. It’s a fact that more and more of us as adults, and some of us retired, will be caring for our elderly parents. 
 
Most of us don’t want to think about our own decline and death and we certainly don’t like to think about the decline and death of our parents. However, lack of planning puts us into a position of stress where there are no good answers. Here are some tips on being a good caregiver:
 
If your elderly parent is bright, alert and still making decisions for themselves talk to them about what they would want as they live out their life.  
Would they want to live in a family member’s home, and is that possible? Would they consider an assisted living facility or a nursing home? What about home health and hospice care? Have they filled out an advanced directive, a living will so their wishes about medical care are respected? Have they completed a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order sometimes also called a No Code Blue? 
 
If the elderly parent cannot make decisions or their wishes known then have a family meeting. 
The plan of care for an elderly parent may not be unanimous among all children and grandchildren but there might be consensus at least some agreement about the kind of care, the place for care, the money for care, and the family members who are best able and willing to provide that care. 
 
As our elderly parents decline through the stages of frailty and debility toward the end of their lives, there should be discussions and plans to provide the best care with the least stress on the elderly parent and the rest of the family as well. What kind of plans do you have? What seems to work for your family? We look forward to hearing how you are navigating these important decisions in your own family.

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