Caring for Aging Parents: Why & How to Start Planning for Caregiving Now by Debbie Howard

2 years ago

Caring for Aging Parents: Why & How to Start Planning for Caregiving Now

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.

The content on is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information on this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider. The opinions or views expressed on do not necessarily represent those of 30Seconds or any of its employees, corporate partners or affiliates.

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Elisa Schmitz
We don't want to think about these things, but they are important. My dad had a heart attack and then quadruple bypass surgery and I was so unprepared. Thank you for this post, Debbie Howard . So very helpful!
Debbie Howard
How is your Dad doing now, Elisa?
Elisa Schmitz
Thank you for asking. He is much better. But it was such an ordeal. We were at his lake house about 9 hours from home. I rushed him to the ER, where they discovered his heart problems. Rather than have surgery there, I arranged to transport him by ambulance all the way back home to our regular hospital, where he had surgery within days. The recovery process was long. But he is doing well, despite some setbacks. That was truly a sandwich generation time for me, and I am just grateful for every day with him. HUGS to you, Debbie Howard !
Debbie Howard
So glad to hear that, Elisa! Let me know if you'd like to chat about strategies for moving forward with planning ... I can be your secret source for info!
Elisa Schmitz
That is so kind, Debbie Howard , thank you! I so appreciate it and will reach out. ❤️

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