It’s never too late.
In the thirty-plus years in home care, there is one problem that stands out above all. No one is ever
organized to take care of the aging parent. As we age, we are not going to escape the fact that aging
brings consequences. There will be a fall, disease will become harder to manage, new diseases will
appear, and life just gets harder. It is harder to keep up with the yard and housework takes longer and is
much more tiring. Where to live could be a problem and who can we get to help us if we plan to stay
home. As we live longer, how are we going to afford help, who can we trust to follow through with our
end of life issues? Memories are impaired and personalities can change. It is time to have the difficult
talk with Mom and Dad.
The most important discussions start with when you need help at home. “Who do you want to care for
you?” “Above all else do you want to stay home?” “Would you like to move into an elder facility where
you can be around other people?” People who are social often like facilities, people who do their own
thing like to stay at home. If both parents are together, they will often stay at home.
The preparation that needs to be in place BEFORE an EVENT OCCURS ARE:
A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
This authorizes an individual you trust to carry out your wishes if you (the client) are unable to talk for
yourself. They work with the medical professionals to follow your desired plan of care.
A Durable Power of Attorney for Finances
Authorizes an individual to handle financial tasks, such as pay your bills, if you (the client) are unable to
Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) form + POLST
A DNR is a directive requiring a medical professional to respect your (the clients) wishes to specify
and/or limit all CPR and advanced cardiac life support (ALCS) procedures.
These forms are typically created if you have an attorney draw up a trust and are readily available at
most stationary stores, online or at your physician’s office.
If mom is staying home more and missing card games, clothes are not being kept up, the house is cluttered, pots and pans are getting burned, bills are stacking up and not paid, the conversion is on a loop, then it is time to have that talk.