The closer that your family member gets to the end of her life, the more crucial it is for you to have conversations with each other about what she wants that stage of her life to look and to feel like. But there may some obstacles in your way.
Your Senior Might Have Less Time than She Realizes
If your elderly family member has chronic health issues, she may not have as much time as she hopes. That’s not something that she or you want to hear, of course, but depending on the health issues she’s facing, it could be very true. Talk to her doctor and get a crystal clear picture of what she’s up against so that you’re not surprised.
Dealing with Mortality Is Tough
It is never easy to face mortality. This can be something that you struggle with, too, especially if you also have health issues. But just because the subject matter is not easy, that doesn’t mean that you can shove it aside or ignore reality. End-of-life care providers have a lot of resources they can connect you and your senior with that can help you to work through those feelings in a positive manner.
Bringing These Topics up Sometimes Leads to Hard Feelings
Part of the problem with these conversations is that sometimes they can lead to hard feelings between you, other family members, and even your senior. Some of those hard feelings can become a fight, especially if some members of the family are more volatile. But it can primarily lead to worry, which can be bad enough.
Where Do You Even Start?
The biggest problem for you as a caregiver might be wondering where you even start. The simple answer is that you just start where you are. If you haven’t talked about your senior’s health, try starting there. Let the conversation flow and keep in mind that you might not get through all the details in one conversation. Most families find that it requires more than one conversation to get through everything that you want to cover.
It’s important to go ahead and get these conversations started as soon as possible. If you wait too long, you may run into situations that become emergencies and you’re not sure how your senior would have wanted them handled. Remember that this conversation is difficult for both of you, so have some compassion at the ready.