Some special tips to help you know how to speak to your children about the sensitive issue of your future care needs.
Your children may or may not have thought about the later life care you might want or need but it is definitely something you should think about in advance. You should also talk to your children about your wishes.
It is a sensitive subject and one that many families ‘tip-toe’ around for fear of upsetting anybody. However, should a disease or accident happen unexpectedly which makes it impossible for you to state what you want, your children will be forced to make a decision on your behalf. This may result in your children making a choice that you wouldn’t have made if they have Power of Attorney, or health care professionals making the decision.
To avoid any awkwardness, now is the time to talk to your children about your future care needs before you have an emergency on your hands and very importantly ensuring they have the authority to make decisions for you when you are no longer able to, here’s how:
Choose The Right Time
It can be a sensitive subject for all involved so be sure not to bring it up during a stressful journey or occasion. Instead, allocate some time in a quiet environment at a time when everybody is relaxed and able to talk freely.
Do Your Research
It helps if you approach the conversation with some thoughts and feelings on the care available. You may have a strong preference for live-in care, or you may know you want to go into a particular residential care home. That way you can share the information you have found and how you feel about it with everybody. Look into both care homes and live-in care as well as elderly community housing and carers who visit daily to provide care. Make sure you are clear on the differences and the amount of actual care time you receive.
You must be honest about what you want. There may be a child who believes strongly in a certain type of care being the best option. You may not want to cause conflict but, this is your life and you must be honest about how you want to live it in your later years.
Ask Them For Help
It is so important your family feels involved in your care decision. They only want what is best for you so even if you do believe strongly in one type of care, include them in your decision making and listen to what they have to say.
Make It Clear Who Has Control Should You Be Unable To Make Decisions For Yourself
It is important that you make it clear who is in charge should anything happen to you. When you have more than one child, particularly children who do not get on, arguments can happen in your absence, particularly if money is involved. If you have Power of Attorneys for your finances and your care you should make that clear and explain why you have made certain decisions. Remember there is a difference between a financial Power of Attorney and a health and well-being Power of Attorney.
Agree To Finalise Plans Eventually
It may be that decisions about your future care needs are not reached in a single meeting. Agree to finalise plans eventually over a few more family meetings, so there isn’t any pressure on one meetup.
Be Honest About Your Health
It may be that your children do not know the full extent of a condition you have already. In this case, you need to discuss what your care needs will be in the future so your children understand the type of care you will require. This kind of openness may be difficult but it does pave the way for you having the highest quality of life possible in the future.
Remember, your children love you very much and they only want what is best for you. Being open and honest about your care needs is really important, so that everybody involved knows what to expect. The sooner it is discussed and planned the sooner you can all continue making memories and enjoying family life together.