Essential Family Caregiving Discussion This Holiday Season

Seniors, especially those with health, physical or memory issues, should sit down with the other adults in their families to openly discuss their needs and the roles of the rest of the family in assuring those needs are met. Unfortunately, those meetings – and the sharing of thoughts and feelings among family members – don’t happen nearly frequently enough.

The holiday season is a time many families come together from their dispersed homes into one place, some for the only time in the year – if not for multiple years – they see each other.

Put those two together and the opportunity becomes clear – family holiday gatherings are the time to gather to share their thoughts and discuss the hopes and needs of senior loved ones. Easier said than done, in part because the subject matter for those discussions consists of topics not easy for families to openly discuss with each other, particularly with the person who is the topic of those discussions. Not easy, maybe, but those meetings are essential, precisely because of that subject matter.

Those opportunities to get together to talk and their subject matter is the topic of the feature segment in this episode of the Senior Care Corner Podcast.

What makes those meetings essential? The caring the family members have for their senior loved one and their desire that her/his needs be met.

Essential maybe, but why the urgency to talk during the holiday season, which is probably overloaded with activity already? First, no time is too soon to make sure plans are in place for the care senior loved ones need or for each family caregiver to understand the role they can fill in providing that care – – and getting care for their own needs. Now is also a better time than later to address questions – and to get honest, thoughtful responses to those questions – that are better discussed in a calm setting rather in the stress-filled setting encountered if the decisions are put off too long.

Senior & Family Discussion Topics

  • Aging in place – whether it’s desired by the senior and practical for their life
  • Transition to long term care – planning and making it happen when and if appropriate
  • Family caregiving – identifying the role each family member will fill in meeting the needs of the senior loved one
  • Caring for the caregiver – assuring the needs of the caregivers themselves are met
  • Financial considerations – planning for the financial needs of the senior loved one
  • Contingencies – preparing for potential sudden changes in the health or ability of the senior loved one or one of their family caregivers
  • End of life – decisions and documentation of those decisions to assure their known and understood
  • Family communications – keeping everyone in the loop beyond the meeting

This is not an all-inclusive list of topics, nor do all these topics apply to each family’s situation. It’s our hope that the discussion in this episode will help family members understand the need for the discussion and to pick the topics that fit the needs of their senior loved one.

News Items in this Episode

  • Medicare Open Enrollment Begins
  • Eye Docs Must Do More to Spot Unsafe Older Drivers
  • More Men Caring for Aging Parents
  • NIH Funded Study to Test Pneumococcal Vaccine in Older Adults

Links Mentioned in this Episode

We hope you and your family will find this episode helpful in planning to meet the needs of your own senior loved ones.

Do you have a story to share with our community about a family meeting or other needs planning? We’d love to hear it in a comment to this post or on our Facebook wall.

Podcast Transcript – so you can follow along or read at your convenience

3 thoughts on “Essential Family Caregiving Discussion This Holiday Season”

    • You are so right–tough topics to discuss but so important for all family members. Thank you for sharing Kayleigh!

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