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Talking About End of Life Decisions with Seniors

By Lee Nyberg, 9:00 am on

Discussing end-of-life decisions with senior loved ones can be difficult, but it’s essential for everyone concerned. The Omaha senior care experts at Home Care Assistance recommend discussing important issues such as finances and medical care as early as possible and offer these suggestions.

How to Begin the Discussion

Many times, it’s the adult children, not the senior loved ones who are uncomfortable talking about end-of-life issues. Starting the discussion will probably be the most difficult part. One way to begin is by talking about a friend who’s parents are discussing end-of-life arrangements, and then asking your senior loved one about his or her wishes.

If it isn’t immediately pressing, you can also wait until the moment comes up organically or your loved one begins the conversation. However, set a time limit. For instance, “If my aging parent hasn’t mentioned this in 1 month, I will start the conversation”. Beginning the discussion will open up opportunities to talk about finances, long-term care, important paperwork, and other subjects that need to be discussed. Also, multiple conversations are more than likely, so don’t worry about fitting everything into one talk.

Things to Discuss

Last Will and Testament – Find out if your senior loved one has a will that’s up-to-date and where it’s kept. If they want to make changes, offer to schedule an appointment with their attorney and accompany them.

Finances – Make sure you have a thorough understanding of your loved one’s finances such as mortgage payments, life insurance, bills, checking and savings accounts, and IRAs. You’ll need to know what kind of funds are available for long-term care and how they plan to handle financial issues upon death.

Long-Term Care and Medical Care – Although your senior loved one may currently be healthy, aging can lead to medical problems and long-term care as years go by. Discuss concerns about healthcare, medical care (like a DNR provision), and long-term care options like live-in home care in Omaha.

Burial and Funeral Arrangements – Many adult children are not aware of their aging parent’s concerns and wishes for burial and funeral plans. It’s not exactly something anyone wants to think about, but it’s important to ask what he or she wants and respect his or her end-of-life wishes.

When it comes time to find additional help for your senior loved one, turn to Home Care Assistance. We offer hourly and live-in care, and provide expert in-home Dementia care in Omaha as well as expert Alzheimer’s care. Our caregivers can help your loved one around the house with bathing, cooking, and cleaning, as provide transportation, mobility support, and regular companionship. For more information, call (402) 763-9140 to speak with a friendly and experienced Care Manager.