There are some points in our lives where the future is extremely exciting, and others where these conversations can be a bit tougher to have. For some who are at senior age and approaching important decisions about their living situation and care, these conversations can fall into the latter category – and this is an area where loved ones and caregivers can provide major assistance.
At Avamere at Mountain Ridge, we’re happy to not only offer incredible assisted living and memory care services in our caring South Ogden community, but also to assist with themes like discussions regarding a senior’s future. If you’re a loved one, caregiver, or any other important figure in a senior’s life, what are some simple themes to consider while having discussions about the future? This two-part blog series will look over several.
Why these topics are often difficult
First and foremost, it pays to understand why these conversations can be difficult in the first place. There are a few key reasons:
- Denial: It’s common for seniors to want to deny that they require any assistance whatsoever, whether that’s with activities of daily living (ADLs), medication management or anything else. This can make it tough to have discussions about plans for the future, as the senior in question may not want to hear it.
- Depression: Depression is another common issue among seniors, and can make it difficult for them to see a future that’s worth planning for. This is a very real and serious problem that needs to be addressed before any discussions about the future can take place.
- Loss of independence: Many seniors view a loss of independence as an inevitability as they age, and this can lead to feelings of hopelessness, despair and defeat. It’s important to keep in mind that independence can be maintained to a certain extent with the right care plan, however.
Proper age ranges
At which age should discussions about the future begin? While there’s no definitive answer, it’s generally accepted that these conversations should take place once a senior reaches their mid-70s. This gives them plenty of time to enjoy their retirement while also getting started on some important decision-making for the later years.
Listening and respect
During these conversations, it’s absolutely vital that caregivers and loved ones take the time to listen to what the senior has to say. They may have some very specific plans and preferences regarding their future, and it’s important to respect these wishes as much as possible.
Of course, there may be times when a senior is no longer able to make decisions for themselves – in which case, their caregiver or power of attorney will need to step in. However, it’s still important to keep the lines of communication open and to involve the senior in these discussions as much as possible.
Part 2 of this series will look at a few more specific topics to consider when discussing the future with a senior loved one. Stay tuned!
For more on how to have conversations about the future with a senior loved one, or to learn about any of our senior living or memory care communities in South Ogden, speak to the caring team at Avamere at Mountain Ridge today.