Decisions about care at the end of your senior’s life are among the most difficult decisions you might have to make as her caregiver. You need to talk with your elderly family member, if that’s possible, and work out what the right answers for her are.
Use Real Information as Much as Possible
At this point in your senior’s life, it’s crucial that you have the most accurate information possible. Talk with her doctor about the reality of her situation, including how much time she likely has left. When you’re using real information, you can make a real plan. Hiding from reality is not going to be helpful at all at this point.
Find out What Your Senior Wants, if You Don’t Already Know
The hardest part can be actually sitting down with your senior and finding out what it is that she wants. If she wants to stay at home for as long as possible, you need to know that so that you can prepare. You can’t meet her needs if you’re not even sure what exactly they are. Take the information that you have about her existing health and go from there.
Go with What You Know
Because issues around the end of your senior’s life can be tough to talk about, you and your senior might not have already discussed what she wants. Ideally, you would have at least talked about some of these considerations at some point in your caregiving journey. If you’re not able to talk directly to your senior now, go with the information that you do have to make the best decision possible.
Consider Hospice Elder Care as an Option
An option that many caregivers overlook is that of hospice elder care. They can help your senior to have the experience that she wants at the end of her life while doing as much as possible to avoid displacing her. If your elderly family member is nervous about the idea, try setting up a meeting so that she can ask questions. Understanding what hospice elder care can do for everyone involved can help to alleviate her unease.
Even if this is a scary conversation for you, take a deep breath and at least make the attempt. Putting off the talk is not going to make the situation any better, but digging in and getting through this difficult topic can help you to improve the quality of your senior’s life in the time she has left.