How To Talk To Your Parents About Hospice Care

Parents try their best to give their children the best life possible. From the moment their child is born, parents are prepared to do whatever they can to make sure their child is well cared for. Perhaps, that’s why it’s only a natural response for adult children to want to return the favor of loving care and provide support for their aging parents. However, when it comes to end of life care, discussing hospice care with your parents may seem overwhelming.

After all, many people regard hospice care as a place where one goes during their final days of life. However, this is a common hospice myth. In reality, hospice care is not a place but a philosophy that focuses on providing patients with the care, comfort, and dignity they deserve. Furthermore, hospice care happens in environments where the patient would benefit most. In many cases, patients receive the support they need, including skilled nurse care, within the comfort of their home. Best of all, hospice care is affordable to many families. Hospice care services are covered 100% by most insurance plans, including Medi-Cal and Medicare.

After doing their research, many adult children with aging parents realize that hospice care services are exactly what their parents need to live a full and rewarding life. This is regardless of the amount of time they have left. They often feel a sense of relief knowing that their mom or dad will be well taken care of. Furthermore, since hospice care takes a family-centered approach, it is common for the family and caregivers to experience the benefits of hospice care alongside the patient.

However, even with all of the positive care and benefits hospice care provides, starting the end-of-life-care discussion with mom or dad can still be difficult. Sometimes, people delay discussing hospice care because they are worried it will upset their parents. However, when it comes to the safety and well-being of aging parents, hospice care is a conversation that cannot wait. Remember, your parents cannot receive the benefits of hospice care if they don’t know the option is available.

If you have been wanting to discuss hospice care with your parents, but don’t know how to begin the conversation, you are not alone. Keep reading to learn several ways you can approach your parents and begin the conversation about hospice care services.

Make Sure Everyone Is On The Same Page

Before you sit down with mom or dad, gather with your siblings to discuss your ideas. It’s important that you all share the united goal of recommending hospice care.

Don’t try to bring up the subject of hospice care if one of your siblings is having a rough day. This can cause unnecessary stress and delay getting your parent the care he or she needs. Instead, wait for a calm day when you and your siblings are relaxed. Then have an open to having an important discussion. Share with them all of the research you have gathered on hospice care.

Share meaningful articles and important information that you’ve discovered with your siblings so that they too can reach an informed decision. Once everyone one is in agreement, you can work together to plan the right moment to bring the conversation to your parents.

Make An Appointment With A Hospice Nurse

Sometimes the idea of hospice care can seem scary simply due to the patient of family member not having enough information about what hospice care really is. Making an appointment with a hospice nurse or hospice care provider is a great way to discuss your concerns. It gives you and your siblings a chance to talk to someone who is extremely experienced in all matters related to hospice care.

Speaking with a hospice nurse makes it easier to visualize what your mom or dad’s new daily routine might look like. The hospice nurse can use her years of experience to give you additional guidance for approaching your parents. Many hospice care providers are more than happy to answer your questions. Take advantage of this information to get the insider information you need to help your parents..

Don’t Forget To Listen

When you are able to find a peaceful moment to sit down with mom or dad to discuss hospice care, there’s a lot you’re going to want to say. Remember, it’s important you give your parent time to absorb all of the new information you share. Let them respond and ask questions. Acknowledge and empathize with any emotional response your parent has. Let them know their feelings are heard and understood.

Remind mom and dad that it is ultimately their decision to make. Make it clear that there’s no obligation for them to start hospice care before they are ready. It’s very important that you reassure both your parents that they will always have your love and support. No matter what decision they make.


Top Reasons Seniors Prefer Home Health Care

It is common for children of an aging parent  to worry about their parent's safety. However, In a survey conducted by AARP, it was discovered 90% of senior citizens prefer staying in their homes as they age versus entering an assisted-living home. In addition, while many will need help taking care of daily tasks, such as cooking meals, bathing, and running errands, at least 82 percent said they still wish to remain at home.

Moreover, seniors fare better when they receive emotional support from their family and friends. They feel safe when surrounded by loved ones. The more they interact with those whom they love, the less likely they are to become withdrawn or depressed.

Bringing in a home health care worker can really improve your parent's life. Caregivers provide individual attention and care in your parent's home. So, your loved one receives personal contact and much needed support. Your parent's basic needs will be met, and they can create a connection. Over the long term, there are many reasons staying at home and receiving in-home care are a great option for them and your peace of mind.

Create Comfort

Very few of us like change. And the older we get, we tend to like it less. As Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz told us, "There's no place like home." Feeling safe and comfortable leads to good mental health. We all want our parents to feel happy as they age, and staying at home is a key to maintaining that state of wellbeing.

Alleviate Anxiety

Fear of the unknown can make anyone anxious, but seniors are especially prone because aging is frought with unknowns. Knowing you can at least stay in your own home can help ease those fears. On another level, knowing your surroundings and "making it on your own" builds confidence. An unexpected illness can add stress to your senior's life and cause a long term negative effect. A home health care worker is trained for such a situation. Together, you and the caregiver can ease your loved one's anxiety.

Online Resources

If your parents aren't tech savvy, perhaps you can help lead them to the numerous resources available online. Grocery stores deliver and meal delivery services are everywhere. Even pet products can be purchased online, as well as housekeeping and yard work. Many items they need can be brought to their doorstep. The in-home care giver can help with this as well.

Reduce Stress

Being a caregiver to anyone is more stressful than you might imagine. And when it's your parent, other challenges come in to play. When your parent is able to remain in their home, it can make it easier when you have discussions about finances and medical decisions. Furthermore,with an in-home care giver, you have another resource who understands seniors and can help mediate discussions.

Curb Isolation

Your parent is less likely to feel isolated or unhappy if they are in a familiar ad comfortable setting. When you're not able to be there, the in-home care giver can offer much needed company. Your loved one can show off their old family albums and talk about the glory days, which are great for feeling connected.

Save Money

Advisers from the AARP calculate the average cost of a nursing home or assisted-living facility as more than $50,000 annually. It might be helpful to sit down with your parent and create a budget. You may be surprised when you weigh the pluses and minuses of living at home versus in a nursing home. In addition, home health care services cost less than nursing home care, so your parent will have a win-win.

Freedom

Imagine the comfort you would feel, and the comfort your parent would feel, walking freely through their own home. Even if the home care worker has to help them fix a snack or use the bathroom, your loved one still can rest in their own bed or on their own couch. Seniors who move to an assisted-living facility feel as though they've lost their independence. Living at home gives them freedom, which builds confidence and promotes well-being.

Maintain Safety

When your parent lives in their own home, they are less likely to become a victim of elder abuse and/or neglect. You will help them select an in-home caregiver, and you can drop in to check on them at any time, and not be subject to a facility's schedule.

If you are able to keep your loved one at home, and provide them with in-home health care, it will be a benefit to them and you. You can find many trustworthy and well-established home care providers that provide 100% in-home care. We all want to keep our parents safe, comfortable and happy. That includes enabling them to live in their own home and bringing in skilled, humane caregivers. This option can be a blessing to your loved one and leave you feeling confident they are receiving the best care possible.