I remember the first time my mom mentioned the term COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) regarding my dad’s illness. Having worked in senior healthcare for almost 15 years, I was all too familiar with this condition and its inevitable outcome.
Once I was an adult who understood everything my parents tried to teach me growing up we enjoyed an incredibly open relationship. But now that we were talking about life and death, I wondered if we could continue with that level of openness.
Thankfully we did, and I can never stress enough to people what a difference it made. When working with clients and potential clients I stress the importance of open communication between family members and I know what a difference it made in our lives. The next few years were a constantly changing maze of decisions, dealing with doctors and hospitals and suppliers. It is the same maze most families face when they realize their loved one is not as healthy and strong as they once were.
Knowing what my dad’s wishes were and being able to express to him the concern of his family and how we felt about him and the situation was so critical for all of us. As his condition changed, we would revisit what the plan was, how we would move forward, and then most important of all, we would just go back to being family and enjoying the time we had.
His last visit to the hospital we all knew he wouldn’t be coming home. Even with how difficult a time this was for us, knowing what his wishes were made our decisions so much easier and we could let him go, knowing we had carried out his wishes.
These discussions aren’t always easy, but they are much easier than having to make decisions for someone not knowing for sure what they wanted. Advance Directives are so important as people age and begin to need various levels of help, from in home care to hospitalization. But they also open the lines of communication at a time when it couldn’t be more important.
If you need information about how to get paperwork for Advance Directives, or if you think your loved one might need a Sun City caregiver in the home, contact Care from the Heart. We have been in the valley for over 27 years now, and we can help you begin these critical discussions.