How many times have you visited your parents, perhaps over the holidays, for a birthday or anniversary celebration, or just a casual visit and you wished you had the courage to start the conversation about planning for the future? Perhaps you have concerns about the report from their last medical appointment, or ensuring that their legal, financial and medical documents are in order….the list of concerns about their well-being and plans for healthy aging can seem endless. In your mind, you rationalize that they will not be receptive and you know how they will react. And you really want to avoid a potentially unpleasant exchange with your parents. Starting the conversation is not easy, so you remain reluctant to do it. DLEA offers the solution so you can talk confidently with your parents and ultimately help improve the quality of their remaining years.
That was John’s story. He is a loving son, the one who lives locally of three siblings, and knew he would be the first responder if his parents experienced a medical crisis, so he decided to prepare himself by contacting DLEA. While his parents were somewhat socially active, dad had a few complex medical issues and mom was showing some signs of cognitive decline, such as repetition and forgetfulness. He needed professional guidance on “how to best begin laying the groundwork to help my parents and how to initiate that conversation in the most respectful and productive way possible.” He outlined a number of objectives for a one hour in-office consultation with our Aging Life Care Manager, Susan Blum, LCSW-C, LICSW, C-ASWCM.
Suggestions were also given to support his parents when they need help with medication management, and facilitating medical appointments when they are unable to attend them alone. She assured him that we could step in when he is ready to introduce us as an additional support. When a significant change occurs with his parents, we will be his partners and able to make expert referrals to the most reputable in-home caregivers, transportation options and also offer support during a move out of their home and to assisted living or skilled nursing. We can also provide an in-home comprehensive assessment to identify problems, address concerns, and make home safety recommendations, so they can remain there for as long as possible. If legal and financial advisors are needed, we can also provide referrals to trusted professionals in these areas.
When John left the one hour consult at our Silver Spring office, he commented, “I’m so grateful for this time. I feel much more equipped on how to approach my parents and work with my siblings so we are all prepared for when we have the conversation.”