Taking care of someone that cannot care for his or herself is difficult when someone is in their 30’s or 40’s; such a task is made even more difficult when the caregiver is elderly. If you are an elderly caregiver, then you need to be sure to take time for yourself, every day, or you may find yourself becoming overwhelmed. You should also think about how you want to respond if unexpected circumstances arise. It is, after all, easier to respond to a crisis when you have thought about how to do so under more placid conditions.
When doing your advance planning you should ensure that you prepare any legal documents that you or your loved one needs, such as a living will, and do so prior to a need for such documents arising. A living will is a document that allows you to dictate what types of medical treatment you do or do not want to be subjected to, should you be unable to express your wishes when the treatment is needed. Once these documents are prepared, you should know where they are kept.
Find out what your loved one wants now, so, if they become unable to convey that in the future, you will know how they want to approach the end of their life. Once you know, let other family members know what those wishes are so that they will be respected when the time comes.
Remember that it’s okay to admit you are unable to provide the level of care that your loved one needs. There are many resources available in our community that can help you get the assistance you need.