A little less scary is a good thing!
When talking with adult kids about working with their family and their parent(s) to come up with a Plan that is best for everyone we often hear the unspoken Why?. “Why should I be doing all of this planning stuff? I’m busy enough trying to take care of Mom… along with all of the other million (only a slight exaggeration!) things I’ve got to do on a daily basis. To help you with the “why” list, here are a few very important benefits you’ll get from Planning ahead:
The Top 7 Reasons Why Planning Ahead is Important
Get more time for yourself.
One thing that you never have enough of is time for yourself. A good Plan will enable you to take care of yourself, exercise more, take long walks, do hobbies, sustain yourself physically and mentally, read more, listen to your favorite podcast, etc.
Avoid common stumbling blocks that cause worry.
Until you start providing or managing the care of a declining parent, you may be inclined to think something like “I’ll just figure it out as I go – How hard can it be?” But without a Guide, how would you know what care options are available, how to pay for them, or a number of other things that can trip you up? Would you visit a foreign country without first planning your trip ahead of time?
Reduce stress for everyone involved.
Your parents are aging before your eyes. You love them and want the best for them but you’re stressed out. If you sit down and discuss with them what they want, assess their needs, figure out what you and your siblings can contribute and execute a well designed Plan… everyone will have fewer headaches, less fighting, more relaxation and smile more often.
Gain balance between family, work, parents, etc.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could have dinner with your family on a regular basis, go to your kids or grandkids events, go on a date, focus on work (during work hours) and any number of things you’re currently lacking? A good Plan will enable you to achieve more balance in yours, your family’s and your parent’s lives. Think about it; without planning ahead of time, a family bbq can very easily turn into nothing but chips and cookies!
Be confident in your decision making abilities when challenges arise.
One thing you’ve hopefully learned is that things will change. Each time you come close to coming up with a workable routine, something happens to substantially change things. Then it’s back to the emotionally charged drawing board to come up with another rushed solution. With a Plan, when your loved one’s health suddenly changes you will know what to do for them, the kind of care they want and need, as well as who is going to provide that care so you don’t have to stress over it.
Be able to provide the best care for your Mom in the least restrictive environment without going broke.
It’s critical to know what care options exist. How long can Mom pay for the care she receives without running out of money? How can her money be stretched so she can receive her preferred level of care? What’s next when she declines and how will she pay for that? What happens if she runs out of money? These can all be answered by planning ahead.
Learn ways to work with family members who are either willing or hesitant to help. One of the most important yet difficult things to do when a parent starts to decline is to find a way to work with your siblings or extended family. Everyone has an opinion and often opinions differ greatly. Unless there is a way to pull everyone together, the results are often additional stress, great inefficiency and potential deadlock. Part of Planning is having a Family Meeting. In this meeting you will discuss your family members taking responsibility for specific tasks, how to share the load, being accountable to each other, working as a team toward common goals and understanding the benefits of caring for your Loved One.
Better with a Planning Ahead
When your beloved parent is declining cognitively or physically, it’s almost impossible not to worry (sometimes at 3 in the morning). Each day you reflect on the “fire” of the past day and wonder what new challenge will happen today. You wonder whether you will be able to once again solve the upcoming problems and stay on course.
We have not only heard these things – we have lived them ourselves as the health of our own Mothers’ declined and it was us providing the care. If you are struggling to provide the care for a declining parent or spouse, you don’t have to struggle alone. Let us be your Guide down a well worn path where things are brighter, clearer and a little less scary.
We will be launching our Mom Centered Family Meeting Member Site soon. You’ll unlock the secrets to obtaining your “whys” and after incorporating the information you will receive in this site, you’ll have your very own customized Plan. To be on an advanced list to receive information (and receive early bird discounts), go to help.mom/plan to join the list now.
We want to be friends!
Ok. That might come off a little fast, considering we barely know each other. However, we fully understand the stress and turmoil that you are facing as Family Caregiver.
In our time as caregivers, we have amassed a wealth of knowledge that we desire to pass on. We have personally dealt with the emotional fallout as caregiver for personal Loved Ones. 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!
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, and even professional advice. If you would like to sign up, click the button below.
You will even find assistance for planning ahead in your life and the lives of your Loved Ones.
Please Invite Someone to Our Newsletter
Being an Adult Kid with a declining parent can be a scary, frustrating and lonely place. As we’ve discussed, emotional fallout can be severe. You feel like you are solely responsible for solving Mom’s problems while managing yours. Some occasional input and a community to plug into would help! 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!
Thank You for being a Caregiver for Your Loved One – you are making a huge difference in their life!