In our last blog post, we talked about one of the adult children serving as an advocate for their parent at Journey Stop #4. This is the point in time when your loved one can no longer stay at home. And has to go to a nursing home. It make sense to serve as an advocate at this stage. Because your loved one can no longer act for themselves and must have your assistance to make sure that they are receiving the proper quality of care.
In this blog post we’re going to introduce the idea of an adult child serving as an advocate for their parent at Journey Stop #1. At this point, your parent is still able to live at home alone and function on their own with very little additional assistance. At the beginning of this journey stop. The kids may be stopping in daily to check to make sure that everything is okay. At later stages of this Journey Stop. They may even have a paid caregiver coming in in a few hours a day to assist the parent with activities that they are finding increasingly more difficult to do on their own.
At this stage, even though your parent is able to act on her own and make most decisions for herself. It is difficult for her to venture off into the unknown and take the proactive steps of doing advanced (Bridge of Life) planning. This type of planning can be scary, mostly because it is unfamiliar. But it needs to be done for what is to come and to insure your Loved One’s quality of life.
Serving as Advocate
Granted, serving as an advocate at this stage, where the parent is fully at themselves. It requires a much greater degree of tact and patience. Any prodding by the child to encourage the parent to do Bridge of Life planning. Such as estate planning, financial planning, legal planning (with an elder law attorney), health care planning (with a geriatric physician), may be met with a healthy dose of skepticism and sometimes a big NO!
However, with patient explanation of why this planning is important. It combined a little patience and kindness, mixed with a dose of humor. The adult kids can often get their parents to take some of these proactive planning steps that will make everyone’s life much easier down the road.
The steps mentioned in this post, all of which will be discussed in more detail in future posts. And need to be addressed. If any of these big planning steps are missed. The kids normally find themselves in a position of scrambling to fill the gaps later. The kids often find themselves trying to make decisions that Mom or Dad should have made years before.
This is not only unfair to the kids. The results of such post-capacity decisions are usually not nearly as effective as they would have been. Had they been made much earlier by Mom or Dad. While they still had the capacity to make such decisions. More importantly however, if Mom or Dad makes these types of decisions. It is their decision. After all, it is their money, their property and their life so they should make the important decisions that have to do with all of this.
So the challenge to you reading this is to talk to your parents. To see if you can get them started on the road to being properly prepared. If they are at Journey Stop #1, download The Journey Stop checklist from our Facebook page. And start checking off some of the big planning steps that need to be undertaken. While your parent is still able to do so.
We want to be friends!
Ok. That might come off a little fast, but you can trust us. We want to help! We fully understand the stress and turmoil that you are facing as Family Caregiver – including personal experiences with burnout.
In our time as caregivers, we have amassed a wealth of knowledge that we desire to pass on. We understand the emotions involved while making necessary preplanning and caregiving decisions. Likewise, we have met many professional caregivers, as well as other family members who were thrust as Family Caregiver. All caregivers have shared the same advice – Join a community! There is nothing more cleansing for our situation than knowing that we are not alone!
We have since created Caregiver Connection. Caregiver Connection is a newsletter that we write personally and send to fellow Caregivers. It is full of tips, tricks, direction and even professional advice. If you would like to sign up, click the button below.
Please Invite Someone to Our Newsletter
Being an Adult Kid who is helping mom as she is declining can be a scary, frustrating and lonely place lacking stability. You feel like you are solely responsible for solving Mom’s problems while managing yours. Some occasional input and a community you can trust would help, especially when facing burnout! This is a way that all of us can be working together as caregivers!
Many others that you may personally know are having to figure it all out by themselves. Most of them have no community. Please take a minute and do them a favor. Copy this link ~> help.mom/cc <~ and send it to them in an email or private message. They can click on it and subscribe to our newsletter for free.
Then they can enjoy weekly tips and encouragement. They no longer have to feel so alone in their family caregiver journey. They will appreciate the favor! Thank you for thinking of them!
Nothing herein is intended to be legal advice. These are just things that we have learned as various families try when struggling with these difficult issues. Each situation is unique and requires specific professional assistance to resolve. Please contact your local medical or legal advisors to seek assistance in preplanning and appropriately resolving issues for your family.
Thank You for being a Caregiver for Your Loved One – you are making a huge difference in their life!