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Tips for Discussing Long-Term Elder Care

By HERWriter
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According to the American Health Care Association, ʺnearly half of all Americans will need long term care at some point in their lives.ʺ Also, experts estimated that today’s seniors may need an average of five years of long-term care which includes two years of home care plus three years of long-term care in a senior facility.

Discussing long-term care with a loved one may be difficult. However, the benefits of this discussion will honor your loved one’s wishes if they need long-term care. Also, this proactive conversation will aid in your loved one’s transition to a long-term care facility.

Since most elder care is provided by unpaid family members, it is best to discuss with your elderly loved one who they would want to care for them if they became disabled or seriously ill.

In an interview with USA Weekend, Jody Gastfriend of Care.com said, ʺA proactive approach can yield better options when the time comes and can head off a family emergency.ʺ

The home elder care dynamic affects families emotionally and financially. Also, caregiving can add additional pressures and stress on an already fractured family structure.

Here are some tips for discussing long-term senior care with your loved one:

Before the Conversation:
• Conduct elder care senior living research options in advance. Research possible elder care options and costs. Secure brochures and develop a list of pros and cons of each eldercare option. You can never conduct too much research on this topic. You want to feel like an expert when your loved one asks questions about their senior living options.
• Secure family support. Ask other family members to be present during the conversation.
• Decide when and where the conversation will take place. With other member of your family, decide if you want to have a family meeting or have the conversation after a family event.
• Set some goals. Decide what type of results you want to secure after the conversation with your elderly loved one.
• Expect some resistance and have a response ready to counter this. Remember there is no perfect formula to elderly home care options.

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EmpowHER Guest

Visiting Angels is indeed a blessing. I needed someone to care for my mom who lives in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. She suffers from Alzheimer’s and I live in England. I was able to choose the right caregiver for my Mom. The person was experienced and had excellent credentials. I have peace of mind knowing that Mom is in capable hands. You should check them out at www.visitingangels.com/palmbeaches (561-328-7611) if you need senior care services.

November 26, 2012 - 7:09am

This has got to be one of the hardest things ever to discuss with a parent or grandparent. For so long in all our lives our parents and grandparents are the ones taking care of us and then suddenly we are thrust in position to make those decisions for them. Very difficult for sure. Thanks for the article.

May 29, 2012 - 1:34pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.