No one likes to think about someone they love getting older or sick and not being able to care for themselves any longer.
Oftentimes, when an illness comes on quickly, you may be "forced" into becoming a caregiver with little notice or preparation. This can be emotionally, mentally and financially taxing.
It's one of the reasons Certified Senior Advisor, Pamela D. Wilson, MS, has written her new book, The Caregiving Trap: Solutions for Life’s Unexpected Changes. The book serves as a "guidebook" on how to take care of parents/loved ones, while still preserving your own health and sanity.
One of the things Wilson advocates is that it's far better to talk about what your loved one would want for care before something happens. This helps prevent all the emotions that come with a sudden change. If you have parents who are starting to slow down, start the conversation... not only among your siblings but also with your parents, as their voices should also be heard.
It's a difficult conversation to have, and many times neither party wants to talk about it, or both parties are in denial. However, being prepared will ease the transition.
You can also enlist the help of an attorney when it comes to setting up a living will and power of attorney privileges. Just having that "third party" input may help the conversation to go a bit smoother.
And, don't forget to update your healthcare directive. Talk to your doctor, also, so you have the correct directions on file (for example "DNR" do not resuscitate).
Finally, Wilson says that you can do things to maintain your health now, so that you prevent being a "care receiver" when you're older.
Listen in as Wilson joins Dr. Susanne to share more about her book, as well as some helpful tips for navigating the world of caregiving.