June 15, 2022 8:35 AM
Sound familiar? If so you have likely been talking with an older or ill loved one who is resistant to planning ahead.
Aging presents no shortage of challenges, and perhaps one of the greatest is the transition from caregiver to care recipient. The ego takes a particular hit when a younger loved one begins to draw attention to decreasing ability or lack of independence. If your well intentioned nudging and questions are landing on deaf ears, it may be time to contingency plan.
While you can’t force someone to talk about care planning, you can give yourself the gift of a contingency plan. At The Care Plan we have developed contingency plans as a way to equip our clients who can’t seem to “get through” to their loved one.
One daughter in particular was at the end of her rope with her father. He’d had a stroke, didn’t take care of himself and made decisions that endangered himself and others. Anytime she brought up questions like “well what are you going to do when you can’t take care of yourself” he shut down and told her it was none of her business. During our initial conversation she broke down in tears a number of times and eventually we were able to get to a place of action - a contingency plan. After the plan was developed she was able to relax knowing that when crisis hit, she had resources in place.
Contingency planning is about Anticipation, Assumption, and Organization. If you are able to build a very basic plan that incorporates those three concepts, you are as prepared as possible for the future needs of your loved one.
Identify the likely paths ahead. Understand the care landscape of your loved one and ask the question, “what will I need”?
If your loved one doesn’t share their thoughts, there are some important dots to connect. Step outside of yourself to clearly see who this person is. Even though they may not tell you outright what decisions they would make, review what you know of them. Try to keep your biases, wishes and any guilt out of this process. Stay focused on their mindset.
Creating a contingency plan is of particular use to people who are LGBTQ+, english as second language, or who may feel marginalized when accessing health services. Looking ahead offers the opportunity to find companies like The Care Plan who serve you specifically.
The field of aging is changing and it is possible to find service providers who have invested in your particular needs. Planning ahead affords you the opportunity to find the right providers for your loved one. If you are interested in learning more or creating a contingency plan of your own, call us at 630-479-0083, or email email@example.com.