Assisted Living Locators Santa Barbara, a senior placement and referral service, is providing tips for talking with aging parents over Thanksgiving to begin long-term care planning.
Tracey Chudacoff, owner/senior care adviser, said that festive occasions such as Thanksgiving are eye-opening to age-related decline, cognitive impairment and health or safety issues facing older loved ones.
“Long-term care is an important topic that every family should discuss,” she explained. “Assisted Living Locators is a free service that can help provide insight on preparing for the future. We provide advice on how to have tough conversations with parents or other aging family members.”
According to Ms. Chudacoff, there are five must-have conversations you should have with your aging parents this Thanksgiving holiday.
— Cognitive ability: Be aware of cognitive decline warning signs, such as difficulty remembering events from the past 24 hours, struggling to maintain a conversation or displaying noticeable changes in behavior. If you notice these changes, talk to them about seeing a specialist for cognitive screening.
— Financial planning: Many seniors have underestimated the cost of retirement. Preparing for these potential additional costs means having a conversation about your parents’ financial position, expenses, lifestyle and medical needs.
— Health and safety: Difficulty in performing necessities of life is a major issue and key indicator of the need for geriatric care. Are they able to move around comfortably and effectively? Have they lost weight? Are they managing their medications? Are they struggling with personal hygiene?
— Legal Planning: To ensure that their wishes are carried out, discuss legal matters with them. You should be aware of their life insurance policy, end-of-life wishes, health care insurance and authorization, power-of-attorney, current medication and health conditions.
— Wellbeing: Wellbeing is more than just a person’s physical health. Watch for signs your loved one is depressed: an unkempt house, negative change in temperament, disheveled appearance and disengagement with family and friends.
“Allow time for your aging parents to express anxieties and needs,” said Ms. Chudacoff. “You can decide together what needs to be done and who can help.”
She added that Assisted Living Locators can help you explore and understand elder care options.
“I meet with the family to discuss their loved one’s current situation and needs,” said Ms. Chudacoff. “I offer a variety of care resources including in-home and respite care, assisted living and memory care.”
For more information, contact advisers Tracey and John Chudacoff, Assisted at 805-953-5511 or visit assistedlivinglocators.com/care-advisor/santa-barbara.