Friday, July 12, 2013

Having Care Conversations


As many families learn the hard way, the conversation about long term care choices can be a very difficult one. There are many emotions at play - sadness at seeing a loved one in need of more care, guilt of an adult child for not being able to provide that care, and a burden on the side of a parent who is at the center of the conversation.

However, having care conversations with family and friends can be a very rewarding experience for many families. Discussing a parent's desires for long term care, what to do in the event of a crisis, and planning out end of life care are all ways that families can grow together and make honest decisions that are for the best of all involved. Often many families wait to have these difficult conversations until there's an emergency on hand - a broken hip, a stroke, or a more complicated disease such as Alzheimer's.

As this ABC Action News story explores, involving a parent in the conversation allows a parent to make decisions about his or her own care - eliminating some of the guilt and grief that adult children experience when making these decisions for a loved one. For many families, a natural care team develops, including the parent, adult children, medical doctor, and potential facilities.

For more information on how to have these conversations with loved ones, visit www.CareConversations.org, where you can find checklists, medical care resources, blogs from experts on elderly care, and downloadable materials to assist in navigating this emotional conversation.

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