By J’Nel Wright
Did you know that about 34.2 million Americans provide unpaid care to an adult age 50 or older each year? Not only that, but experts estimate that 82 percent of caregivers care for one other adult, while 15 percent care for two, and 3 percent care for three or more.
Since many of our clients at Osmond Marketing are leaders in the healthcare and skilled nursing industries, we often have opportunities to promote health, wellness, and patient care issues, particularly in matters of aging care.
Recently, Amy Cook, CEO at Osmond Marketing, joined other skilled nursing experts to share her views on ways to identify an aging loved one’s need for care. Cook, along with four other experts, shared five steps people need to take to determine if their loved ones need full-time care now and offered advice on how to prepare for an impending need later on.
Here are some of the highlights of the five steps they discussed:
- Start the Conversation
Try to feel out the right times to talk with your loved one about healthcare concerns. Be specific with your concerns and make sure you project those matters with a loving, supportive tone. Remember, finances need to be part of that conversation.
- Consider How Much You Can Handle
Many caregivers split time between caring for a loved one and their families. “For many, our responsibilities extend beyond the needs of our aging parents and carry over to our own families,” says Amy Osmond Cook, author of Things to Discuss with Aging Parents Before Becoming Their Caregiver. Discuss a schedule where you can establish a balance between your loved one’s needs and the needs of your family.
- Build a Team, and Make a Plan
“Family meetings are a way for siblings, parents, and other concerned relatives or friends to try to clarify the situation, work out conflicts, and set up a care plan that, ideally, all can agree upon,” says Bonnie Lawrence, author of A Sibling’s Guide to Caring for Aging Parents. To ensure family members stay focused on the responsibilities, invite a mediator to keep the conversation on track.
- Discuss How You Will Pay for Care
If your loved one hasn’t shared specific information about his or her financial situation with an adult child, attorney, financial planner, or a close friend, now is the time to talk about how the family will pay for needed care.
- Make the Transition, Follow Up
Should your loved one decide to move to an assisted living facility, visit often to make sure this new arrangement is working. Where possible, make further changes to match his or her needs to the facility.
You want what is best for the people you love. When it’s time to have “The Talk” about the best strategies for caring for them, these five steps should be the foundation for that discussion to ensure you get the support you need while your loved one receives the proper care.
To read the full Businesswest.com article, click here.