The Caregiver Conversation

It’s not easy to talk about the things you don’t want to think about, but it’s even more difficult to try to make crucial decisions for on your own when it’s too late to ask. The time to find out your loved one’s wishes is now. Caregiving is personal. You will need to understand health concerns, advanced directives, estate matters and finances. A person’s financial situation often dictates their options for care. Most of all, while they are still able, you want to take the opportunity to learn what they want.

You probably won’t get all the answers you need in one conversation.

You probably won’t get all the answers you need in one conversation. Plan on addressing topics gradually and let them know you are only asking because you want to make sure you understand their expectations.

Here are a few questions you can ask to help start the conversation:

1

How have you been feeling? Have you thought about what you may want to do if your health gets worse?

2

Would it make sense to you to have me help with questions and concerns about your health as the condition progresses?

2

Have you thought about what might happen if you fall when no one is around?

2

Would you like for us to check into getting someone to help you with errands and chores?

3

How would you feel about having me help you pay your bills and keep up with paperwork?

Have you ever completed papers for your doctor telling them about your wishes? Where do you keep those papers? Do you remember who is your health surrogate?