I don’t think it is ever too early to have discussions with your loved one about the care they or you would like to receive when the time comes that it’s needed. I know how difficult those conversations may be because none of us wants to talk about the end of life. It’s too short as it is, why talk about it?
Think about this. You're 45 years old, just had a visit from your son on summer vacation and you and your husband are planning a fall vacation to Yosemite. I mean really, why would you bring up the topic of illness/death? Those are years away from happening. Then you get a call at work that they’ve just rushed your husband to the hospital; he’s had a severe heart attack. Your life is about to change rapidly, and you never had conversations about anything other than life ‘as is.’ I realize that you can’t plan for everything that might happen, I wouldn’t recommend focusing on that. But, talking about general ‘what ifs’ is paramount.
I had a call last week from a woman who’s Grandmother was at a Skilled Nursing facility that was getting ready to dismiss her due to her Alzheimer’s condition. She was panicked on what to do next, where to turn. They had never given her any indication that this would happen. Why weren’t they able to deal with this? Now she’s under pressure to make the next move and quickly. She had no idea about the different types of care available or options that could help her Grandmother originally; and fortunately, I was able to give her some direction on next steps.
Making a decision on care for your loved one when an illness or physical condition occurs or changes can be difficult. Often it does happen quickly and the worst time to make decisions is under pressure. With so many options available, knowing the different terms/types of care ahead of time can reduce your stress immensely.
This article; How to Pick a Long-term-care Facility When Your Loved One Can’t Live Alone, gives a terrific breakdown on the different types of care available and the benefits of each one. It is well worth a read and perhaps something to save as a reference when the time comes.
We all make time to schedule in haircuts, car service appointments. How about making an appointment with your loved one to talk about ‘what if.’ It will give you peace of mind and something to lighten the stress later.