Caring for Aging Parents: Why & How to Start Planning for Caregiving Now by Debbie Howard
I lost my dad when I was 35 years old, and my mom when I was 55, under very different circumstances. With my dad, it was sudden, so we had no plan. With my mom, we had a good plan in place long before she was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer and given 18 months to live. Being ready with a good plan definitely helped us make the most of her final months and days, and helped ease my role as her full-time caregiver.
There’s no doubt that planning now can help smooth the way for your loved ones to age. It may be your parents, your grandparents, or a favorite aunt or uncle. Having a heart to heart conversation about their wishes is a good first step. When planning your first conversation, keep the following things in mind:
- Making a plan is a process; it will require a series of discussions, depending upon the resistance levels you may encounter.
- That’s why it’s important to start sooner rather than later!
- Don’t forget to factor in your own needs for self-care while you are planning how you will take care of others.
Read more about self-care while caregiving.
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