As parents age, the difficult task of addressing elder care falls on adult children or other family and friends. Many children would love to seek advice from family members on the care of their parents, but maybe you're like some families and have those couple extended family members who will want to get involved even if you don't want them to. Nosy, overbearing, or opinionated family members can make the transition to elder care stressful on you. To deal with such loved ones, consider the following tips to making the transition as painless as possible.
Start Small. Begin meeting with only immediate family members. After you first seek the advice of those who know the situation best, then add extended family members, loved ones, or close family friends. Remember that the ultimate burden of this falls to you and those closest to you.
Choose a Quiet Spot. When meeting, be sure to eliminate background noises or distractions. Be sure everyone present can be clearly heard. Consider the seriousness of the task and choose an appropriate spot.
Be Thorough in Your Presentation. Come prepared with material about the move, information about the facilities available, and a list of pros and cons in the situation. Be sure everyone has a copy, and if possible, record the meeting for future reference.
Set Ground Rules. With many people comes many opinions. Before the meeting starts, set some ground rules such as only one person talking at a time. Encourage respectability and civility between those who might have strong differing opinions.
Stay Focused. Your ultimate goal is your loved ones well-being. Don't lose sight of that fact amidst all the opinions. If needed, state early the purpose of the meeting such as “helping (loved one's name) maintain independent living as long as possible” or “developing a plan of care for (loved one's name)” or “planning for a facility based care for (loved one's name).” Don't waste time bringing up past hurts or current issues. The focus is on your elderly loved one.
Elevate Respect. Even if someone has a differing opinion, respect what they have to say. No matter your differences, others may have a unique view of the situation that will be helpful to the overall goal.
Create an Agenda. Pass out the agenda with the other printed information and refer to it if topics get off track. Use it as a guide to keep the meeting moving.
Identify a Secretary. Designate someone as the meeting's note-taker to record the ideas stated. Be sure the person is thorough, and if at all possible, don't take the notes yourself. You should be free to keep control of the meeting and guide the discussion.
Above all else, value the care of your loved one over any personal feelings or opinions. This meeting isn't for you or another person to exert dominance, but for your loved one to receive the best possible care available.
If you would like more information concerning estate planning, contact Antelope Valley estate planning law firm Thompson | Von Tungeln (TVT) at (661) 426-2499 or visit their websites at www.EstatePlanningSpecialists.com and www.Medi-CalHelp.com. www.EstatePlanningSpecialists.com is a comprehensive online resource for personal wealth management solutions through wills and revocable trusts. www.Medi-CalHelp.com is a comprehensive online resource for long term nursing home care for the middle class. As Board Certified Specialists in Estate Planning, Trusts and Probate as certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, partners Mark E. Thompson and Kevin L. Von Tungeln are expertly equipped to serve clients with the creative, effective and custom solutions they demand.