Sunday, October 14, 2012

Article #216 Caregiving Challenges

            The phrase what goes around, comes around is certainly true when it comes to aging issues. I remember at the funeral of my mom who lived to be 89 years old one of my sons commenting to his brother…I guess we better think about what to do with mom. I was the mom he was referring to, only 66 years young then and definitely not ready for a care center or worse. I laughed at the time. Although as I’m progressing in my life’s journey, I sometimes wonder what will happen to me when or if I get to the point where I’ll need assistance. No one knows when or if that will happen. Perhaps, I’ll live to be 100 still active and healthy, but it’s an unknown.

            Take time now to discuss and plan for the future with your family rather than be caught unprepared. I have sitting by my computer a folder filled with many important papers: a copy of our will, and a list of important account numbers for banks, insurance policies, etc. Also some suggestions on a funeral program and possible obituary, but most importantly is a living will directing my caregivers on what treatment to give to prolong my life if needed. I’m not one to want to hang around in a coma or vegetative state just to help hospitals pay for their fancy equipment. Also, I do want to be an organ donor. All of this should be discussed with your family and/or spouse while you still have your wits about you. Where and how do you want to be buried? My mom had all her funeral plans selected and paid for which really helped during the stressful time following the unexpected brain tumor that took her life quickly.

            Even the onset of Alzheimer’s or dementia should be discussed. Financial planning and/or insurance for assisted care is a good idea also. I remember feeling relieved when my mom said she didn’t want to be a burden on her family and live with us if needed. Instead she wanted the independence of living in an assisted care center. That helped with those decisions. If you do chose to be a caregiver, it’s so important to honor your loved ones wishes and to take care of your own needs during this crucial time. Support groups can help and family should share the burden of caring for needy loved ones. NEXT TIME: Change and Opposition


SandyCarlson said...

Getting to honest conversations can be the hardest part!

Kay said...

I'm worried since I don't drive hardly at all. My kids are really on my case because they want me more independent if anything should happen to my husband.