How often have you heard yourself saying “No I haven’t done that but I’ve been meaning to!”?

There’s no end to the advice for dealing with aging parents. You’ll find plenty of checklists and caregiver resources. But, many of us find ourselves putting off any real action. No one wants to have the “tough” conversations. (Of course, they’re much tougher when you wait until a crisis.) Facing the discussions and associated tasks puts us face-to-face with our parents’ mortality.

So, don’t feel bad if you’re reading this post and saying, “I’ve been meaning to do that.” Today, we’ll explain how you can start with one simple step.

Avoid the Overwhelm: Take The First Step

End the procrastination by setting up a care management consultation. This circumvents the overwhelm and inaction.

It can be hard to know where to start. You can also waste a lot of time going in the wrong directions. Aging Life Care Managers specialize in assessing your situation to develop a custom plan. You walk away with a personalized roadmap of what needs to be done. More importantly, you know how to get it done. This small investment of time and money can save you exponentially.

Read to take the first step? Contact EasyLiving (727–447–5845).

A client care management story:

I had been doing a ton of research about how to help my aging parents. I was thinking we needed to have the big talk about them moving to assisted living. Friends had given me lots of advice on “the best” places. After about a year, I still hadn’t done anything. Then, Mom had a fall and that scared me into action.

I decided to call EasyLiving because I didn’t know where to start. We set up a phone consultation. I felt such relief. All the well-meaning advice I’d been given wasn’t going to work for my parents. With the care manager’s help, we tackled the most pressing issues. I could then go through things step-by-step for further planning. I’m glad I didn’t keep waiting because a serious crisis was just around the corner.

Care Management: Guidance for the Important Conversations

You know you need to talk to your aging parents about…well, their aging. Even if you think you know what needs to be done, you won’t get very far without them on board.

But, where do you start? What are the important questions to ask? How do you find out what you need to without being invasive? Here are just a few of the key topics a care management assessment can help you cover:

  • Have legal documents been drawn up? Who’s been appointed Power of Attorney? Who’s designated to make healthcare decisions? Do they have a living will? What about a will or trust?
  • What resources do Mom and Dad have? (An especially sensitive, but essential topic.) What can they afford? Do they have good medical coverage? What about long-term care insurance (and how does it work)?
  • Would Mom go to an Assisted Living if she needs more help? How do we find the right assisted living or care provider?
  • What type of care would Dad want if he was sick? What household issues is he struggling with now?
  • What’s their real health status? Which doctors they’re seeing? What tests are being done, or need to be? What medications are they taking?
  • Where is all the vital information (important papers, key contacts, passwords)?

One family’s story:

My parents were very “private”. We never talked about money. When I asked how they were doing, the answer was always “Fine” PERIOD. No room for discussion. When I visited at Thanksgiving, I could see that was clearly untrue. But, they still wouldn’t talk about it. Then, I heard about care management. I talked to a local care manager. It felt good just to have someone who understood. She suggested some techniques and conversation starters. We discussed different approaches.

My Dad loves his lawyer, so we set up a family meeting with him and the care manager. It went surprisingly well. Fortunately, my parents were good planners, even if I didn’t know it. We discussed their wishes and future plans. I had to get over my bitterness that I wasn’t able to accomplish this on my own. The important thing is that it was accomplished.

Care Manager as Accountability Partner

Life gets in the way. It happens to the best of us. Care management is all about helping you manage. The care manager can guide you to the RIGHT resources and explain how things work. She can check in on progress. The care manager can even handle tasks for you.

One daughter’s experience:

I was flying in regularly to help Mom. Every visit was filled with tasks. I felt like I was losing precious time with Mom. And, when I’d get home I’d be overwhelmed with work and family. Therefore, I’d never get my follow up tasks done. When I’d fly in for my next visit, I’d be rushing to make appointments and figure things out. I could see my business and marriage were starting to suffer. I started seeing a counselor and she suggested care management.

The situation changed completely after hiring a care manager. It wasn’t inexpensive but I actually flew down less and yet spent more time with Mom. The care manager would give me specific directions on things I needed to do. It made so much more sense for her to handle certain things. It was more efficient, especially since she’d done it a thousand times before.

To learn more, visit EasyLiving and join our caregiver community on Facebook.

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