By Jess Stonefield
All of us who have kids know there was an awkward moment when we realized we needed to have “the talk” with our children. I’m there right now with my 10-year-old, in fact, and it’s brutal. But what many of us don’t realize is that as our aging loved ones grow older, it is equally important to have a talk with them—not just about financial documents, living wills and power of attorney, but about how they want to live and be cared for at end of life. The holidays are a great time to start a larger conversation about aging—and to include our own needs and desires in the conversation.
What to Ask
Nearly 90 percent of seniors would prefer to age at home. But that statistic only tells us where they want to age. The greater question is: how? The following are a few questions that will help guide your conversation and gain a better understanding of how your mother. father, or grandparents wish to spend the final years of their lives. It may also allow greater fulfillment for you as a caregiver, as well.
What makes life worth living? Having a long life is not the same as having quality of life. What can you be doing now to improve the quality of life your loved one is living–as well as your own? What is important to them? To you? What turns a normal day into a good day? Is it going to church? Caring for a pet? Spending time with their grandchildren? Small things make all the difference to all of us. Find easy, workable solutions that can make both of your lives better when it counts–right now. [Read more…]