IL Estate Planning Blog

Friday, March 19, 2010

Suggestions for Caregivers to avoid conflicts with aging loved ones

Suggestions for Caregivers to avoid conflicts with aging loved ones:

1.)  Pick your battles.  If the situation is not going to harm your loved one, is it worth the battle?  When your loved one's safety is at risk, you must take the necessary steps to protect them.

2.)  Start early.  Determining proper living arrangements, having medical health directives, executing documents to assist with asset management, and completing documents to dispose of assets at death - these discussions should begin early.

3.)  Enlist the help of professionals.  Consider using the trusted professional as the bearer of bad news to your loved one.  For example, if it is not safe for your loved one to drive, possibly having their trusted doctor inform them would be easier for them to accept. 

4.)  Let your loved ones live in their own world.  It's OK to let them repeat their stories. 

5.)  Don't make assumptions.  If your loved one is cognitively able to participate in their own decisions regarding their care, ask for their input. 

6.)  Consider your loved one's feelings.  It's better to let go of past grudges that might lead to conflict and have a more peaceful life by forgiving. 

7.)  Use positive reinforcement.  Encourage your loved one to do the things that they physically and mentally are capable of doing. 

8.)  Prevent caregiver burnout

  • Establish your priorities
  • Reach out to others for support
  • Seek the help of professionals
  • Consider adult day care
  • Keep your medical appointments
  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Take time to exercise
  • Take a break from caregiving
  • Consider the use of private case managers who can assess your loved one's current needs

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