On average, one in two people will need some form of care in their lives, however, most family members are not aware of the wishes of their loved ones.
Talking about care is quite a taboo subject, but it really shouldn’t be!
It isn’t always easy to talk about care options with family members; it is a complex and sensitive issue. However, it is vital to have this conversation if you can before care is needed. That way, should the time come, your family will feel a little more prepared.
Here we have some important thing that you should consider when you decide to have the care conversation with your loved ones.
If you plan the conversation, what you want to say and ask, you are more likely to get the direct answers to your questions. Be thoughtful and explain that you just want them to live well and to a good standard for longer. Some loved ones might be in denial that they should ever need care in the future, but if you talk to them early about this they will have the time to make the decisions needed and everyone will be in understanding when the time comes if it does.
When your loved ones do start to join the conversation about care in the future, really listen to what they are saying. Make notes on what they might need and what they want. What sort of care would they be happy with? Would they prefer Live In Care or consider Companionship Care? Do they have any concerns about money, pets, their belongings? You might not have all the answers to their questions, but just by listening to them, you will get a better insight into how they are feeling and you can go and find out the answers for them so you can continue the conversation.
When the time does come to step up the level of care you will have an insight into what it is your loved ones want, and you can therefore try to ensure that their wishes and needs are met. There could be changes in the individual situation, such as a sudden illness or diagnoses that required a liferent level of care – Specialist Care for instance – but by having these conversations early, you have a great chance of making sure that some, if not all, of your loved ones wishes are met in whatever care option or facility you choose – as a family or as an individual.
Thinking about care and the initial discussion can be upsetting and stressful times, for your loved ones and you. Make sure you get the family involved where possible so that you are not carrying the emotional stress solely. Lean on family and close friends for support and ensure that you are also taking time for your own health and mental wellbeing during this emotional and difficult time.