Everyday Care Issues Require Communication, Planning

Though communicating preferences and making care decisions in advance can cut down on uncertainty and stress, families often don’t discuss the issues of everyday care until there is a crisis. Having conversations about small and personal choices can help prepare family members to handle details such as what to do when a loved one is no longer able to drive, bathe or cook for themselves. And though approaching these topics can be difficult, the Family Caregivers Alliance offers some tips on what to consider and how to communicate values and preferences that will benefit both the caregiver and the person receiving care. The FCA recommends discussing who in the family will take charge of care, how much to spend, what kind of help is needed now and in the future, as well as whether or not to hire assistance and what kind. They suggest having conversations with ailing loved ones about bathing preferences, whether they’d prefer someone they know to help them or someone they don’t, what they prefer to wear, who should handle their finances, and whether or not they’re more comfortable alone or with company. The FCA cautions that, though these topics may be met with resistance at first, the sooner families discuss and plan for care, the better prepared they are to make difficult decisions in the future. More here.

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