Lifelong Health

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Conversations are Different Based on Goals and Needs

If living independently is working well and you are ready to downsize and simplify life, it’s a very different conversation than if a loved one is ailing or in need of advanced care and support. Based on individual goals and requirements, those conversations can be exciting about a new life phase – or more difficult based on perhaps unexpected health concerns.

Be Prepared for Gradual Conversations about the Need for Supportive Care

Everyone wants to feel in control of their life, especially for the years ahead. That’s why planning is such a necessary process. If you’ve thought through the next steps and are ready to get started or find the right option, you’re set. But, most likely, it will be a series of multiple conversations, especially if loved ones are resistant to change. Be prepared with helpful information and bring up the topic before circumstances force the conversation. With a little time spent researching options, you can talk through assisted living, memory care or long-term care options as a family so everyone will feel heard and valued. In your conversations, stay open-minded about living preferences and be sure to talk through finances so it’s clear how to pay for care based on those choices.

Health and Safety Should Lead the Discussion

Staying safe and healthy should always be a priority. Assess current living environments for overall home safety, but also mobility and ease of use. Think ahead about possible changes or what may happen in the near future. Is current support in place, or is there a need for support such as medication management or managing chronic disease? Especially for difficult conversations like the need for assistance with daily living or concerns about driving safety, it’s critical to think through specific needs based on the following:

  • Cognitive issues or concerns
  • Driving abilities
  • Home safety precautions
  • Legal documents such as advance directives
  • Level of social interactions
  • Long-term care plans
  • Medical concerns
  • Medication management issues
  • Mobility concerns
  • Nutrition and meal preparation

Keep Communications Helpful and Positive

When issues arise, it can be hard to stay positive – especially when juggling your own family, career and everyday challenges. Try to help solve the immediate need or problem, but take a long-term view of correcting potential hazards to minimize emergencies. Working with loved ones on a home safety assessment and fall prevention plan will offer positive changes to keep everyone safe. Most importantly, listening well, taking an understanding approach and providing thoughtful reassurance will keep conversations moving in the right direction. Also, frequently review what you discussed to confirm that everyone is saying and hearing the same thing.

Helpful Resources Available at Riverside

Our Center for Excellence in Aging and Lifelong Health at Riverside has helpful resources for any question and every need. Contact us today to help with your conversations.

Have Questions? Contact us for more information.

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