As your senior’s family caregiver, you’re likely going to be the one making some of the bigger end-of-life decisions for her. This isn’t easy to do, even if you feel well-versed in what your senior has wanted for the end of her life. These tips might help you a bit.
Think about What She’s Told You in the Past
The very first thing for you to consider is what your aging adult might have told you in the past about her wishes during this stage of her life. That’s vital information because it gives you a framework for what’s happening now. Some of those wishes may not be possible now and that’s okay. You can only do what you can do.
Consider Her Prognosis
The next thing for you to think about is what your senior’s medical team has communicated already about her immediate and future prognosis. You likely have a timetable for the next few weeks or months that can allow you to make some assumptions about your senior’s needs. That information may change, of course, but it’s what you have right now to use in making your decisions.
Is She Tired of Curative Treatments?
Some of the health conditions your senior may be facing could involve some grueling curative treatments, such as dialysis or chemotherapy. These types of treatments can be incredibly helpful to your senior, but they can also take a lot out of her. She may find that she’s not as interested in maintaining those therapies at a certain point.
What Does She Truly Need Right Now?
The ultimate issue here is what does your elderly family member need right now? She may need comfort and rest more than she needs other forms of care. Try to mesh what she needs now with what she wants. That can mean spending time focusing on making sure that her quality of life is the priority rather than the priority in the past, which might have been treating illnesses. This can be a big shift for you and her to make, but it’s definitely something that can help.
Hospice elder care is something that your senior can choose to opt back out of if she changes her mind. In the meantime, though, it offers her and you some additional options that other treatment methods may not offer, such as focusing on her quality of life and how to make her life easier right now.