Did Your Parents Ever Have “The Talk” With You?

By Bill Bambrick, Lexington Manor –

senior livingIn last month’s issue we covered seven things you need to know when considering an Assisted Living Community (also known Today, people are more occupied with their cell phones, i pads, and other electronic distractions to take the time to talk. But this specific talk is more on the emotional side where distractions need to be set aside and undivided attention is needed. Many children and parents are in denial, so they choose not to have “The Talk.”

Why “The Talk” is So important
The best gift you can ever give your family is to have “The Talk.” So why is this talk so important? It comes down to controlling your life as you age. Everyone wants control over their future and peace of mind knowing they are making the right choices. It may not be important to some family members, but when you are forced into these conversations, emotions are the driving force. Decisions made where emotion is involved can skew your thinking. Talking about changing needs may seem intimidating, or even impossible at first, but the more upfront you and your loved ones are with one another, the better the chances are for a positive outcome for everyone. Worrying that you may upset your loved one by bringing up delicate topics may stop you from starting the conversation. Chances are, however, that your loved one wants to discuss concerns just as much as you do.

This talk is not about a will or estate planning, though they are extremely important after your loved one dies. This is to address a more common situation that we all choose not to admit. “The Talk” may be perceived by many as a partial or complete loss of independence. Yes, there may be some trade off, but would you rather control your life instead of others choosing for you?

1. When to stop driving. Do you put yourself or others at risk when you drive? Has your eye sight, hearing and overall reaction time diminished? This is a big one for our parents; the beginning of their perceived loss of independence. Our parents are a very proud generation, seldom asking for help or admitting they need it. We know teens are a big risk at the wheel, but this fact does not excuse us from having this topic covered.

2. What if I get hospitalized and cannot immediately go home? What skilled facility (better known as a rehabilitation facility) is your choice? What costs are involved? Can I choose where I go for rehab? What are care plan meetings and can I be involved in these meetings? Skilled facilities are graded and you can look up any facilities grade by going to www.medicare.gov/nhcompare and select those within your geographic region. You can see how they rate nationally; state-wide and recent state inspection.

3. What if I cannot care for myself while at home? What are my alternatives? Is the need short term, mid term or long term? Who can I trust with my parents and know I have made the right choice? Licensed and insured caregivers (known as private duty agencies) at your home are a good start, but it can become cost prohibitive at some point. The key is to never hire on price. Price is critical if your resources are limited, but your inherent risk rises too. Check with your church or agencies that employ their caregivers. Make sure they pay liability insurance and taxes of those providing your care.

4. Are you eligible for VA benefits? What information is needed to determine eligibility and how long does this process take? There are some great local resources to assist, but beware of “financial planners” who represent ways to help get you benefits? Let licensed financial planners do what they do best; they don’t fix cars on the side as well do they? There is free help to guide you through this process and may take anywhere from 3 months or longer.

5. Have you looked into Assisted Living Communities? What should I look for? Most ALF’s (assisted living facilities) do most of the same things. The biggest confusion with getting additional care is where are you most appropriate? You still want independence but need some assistance with your daily living activities – dressing, eating, laundry, medications and social interactions. Maybe there is some history of wandering due to cognitive issues; then a more secure, locked-down community may be best suited. If you want your golden years not to tarnish, assisted living may be an excellent, safe alternative where you’re still in control of your days.

Have “The Talk” Soon
Show your loved ones you care by having “The Talk” soon! You all will be so glad you did. Making life changes can be a daunting task. I hope this article has provided some insight to help your family ensure your golden years remain golden.

To learn more about Lexington Manor Assisted Living or for a tour, please call 941-766-7991. Or, visit us online at www.lexingtonmanorportcharlotte.com.
Bill Bambrick has over 14 years in health care with a focus on seniors needs. Bill can also be reached by email at wm.bambrick@gmail.com.

20480 Veterans Blvd., Port Charlotte, FL 33954

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