Trusts and Estates Blog

Six Tips for Caregivers

Eldery mother with grown daughter pushing wheelchair XSmallSo you’ve made the transition from child, niece/nephew, friend, or acquaintance to caregiver. Now what? Too many people have a wrong view of caregiving and end up either burning themselves out or give up on the task. To prevent such instances from happening to you, consider the following tips for your new role in life.

1. Don’t make promises if you aren’t sure you can keep them. Promising to be everywhere at once or help more people than you can is a sure fire way to overwork yourself to the point of not being able to help the one person you need to—your loved one.

2. Even though you are now tasked with caring for an elderly loved one, remember there are other people in life who depend on you as well. Whether a spouse, children, extended family, coworkers, or friends—don’t sacrifice anyone in your life. Find a balance between the two facets of your life.

3. You are not alone in this new role. Don’t try to shoulder the entire weight of caregiving. No human being can do so! Turn to others for support, take time for you, and allow others to help. You will be no good as a caregiver if you wear yourself down.

4. Naturally, you will have fears with this new job—fears of how to go about caregiving, fears about balancing your life, fears about losing your loved one. Also, your loved one will have fears as well. Talk out these fears with family members. Allow others to carry the emotional burden of this for you.

5. Despite their age, your parent or loved one still wishes to be involved in their care. As long as they have mental capabilities, involve them! Don’t infantilize them, but talk over major decisions with them and seek their input.

6. As gung ho as you might be initially, you’ll need to sit down and set limits for yourself. Choose a “day off” each week when someone else can step in to care for your loved one while you renew yourself. Delegate tasks to others if possible (doctor’s visits, shopping, cleaning etc). This all works into your plan of balancing your life with the new role of caregiving.

You are now the caregiver for your loved one, but don’t fear! Remember to reach out to others for help and value caring for yourself as you spend extra time with your loved one.

If you would like more information concerning estate planning, contact Antelope Valley estate planning law firm Thompson | Von Tungeln (TVT) at 661-945-5868 or visit their websites at www.EstatePlanningSpecialists.com and www.Medi-CalHelp.com. www.EstatePlanningSpecialists.com is a comprehensive online resource for personal wealth management solutions through wills and revocable trusts. www.Medi-CalHelp.com is a comprehensive online resource for long term nursing home care for the middle class. As Board Certified Specialists in Estate Planning, Trusts and Probate as certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, partners Mark E. Thompson and Kevin L. Von Tungeln are expertly equipped to serve clients with the creative, effective and custom solutions they demand.

Conducting Elderly Parent Care Meetings

OK, but I have few important questions yet.As parents age, the difficult task of addressing elder care falls on adult children or other family and friends. Many children would love to seek advice from family members on the care of their parents, but maybe you’re like some families and have those couple extended family members who will want to get involved even if you don’t want them to. Nosy, overbearing, or opinionated family members can make the transition to elder care stressful on you. To deal with such loved ones, consider the following tips to making the transition as painless as possible.

Start Small. Begin meeting with only immediate family members. After you first seek the advice of those who know the situation best, then add extended family members, loved ones, or close family friends. Remember that the ultimate burden of this falls to you and those closest to you.

Choose a Quiet Spot. When meeting, be sure to eliminate background noises or distractions. Be sure everyone present can be clearly heard. Consider the seriousness of the task and choose an appropriate spot.

Be Thorough in Your Presentation. Come prepared with material about the move, information about the facilities available, and a list of pros and cons in the situation. Be sure everyone has a copy, and if possible, record the meeting for future reference.

Set Ground Rules. With many people comes many opinions. Before the meeting starts, set some ground rules such as only one person talking at a time. Encourage respectability and civility between those who might have strong differing opinions.

Stay Focused. Your ultimate goal is your loved ones well-being. Don’t lose sight of that fact amidst all the opinions. If needed, state early the purpose of the meeting such as “helping (loved one’s name) maintain independent living as long as possible” or “developing a plan of care for (loved one’s name)” or “planning for a facility based care for (loved one’s name).” Don’t waste time bringing up past hurts or current issues. The focus is on your elderly loved one.

Elevate Respect. Even if someone has a differing opinion, respect what they have to say. No matter your differences, others may have a unique view of the situation that will be helpful to the overall goal.

Create an Agenda. Pass out the agenda with the other printed information and refer to it if topics get off track. Use it as a guide to keep the meeting moving.

Identify a Secretary. Designate someone as the meeting’s note-taker to record the ideas stated. Be sure the person is thorough, and if at all possible, don’t take the notes yourself. You should be free to keep control of the meeting and guide the discussion.

Above all else, value the care of your loved one over any personal feelings or opinions. This meeting isn’t for you or another person to exert dominance, but for your loved one to receive the best possible care available.

If you would like more information concerning estate planning, contact Antelope Valley estate planning law firm Thompson | Von Tungeln (TVT) at 661-945-5868 or visit their websites at www.EstatePlanningSpecialists.com and www.Medi-CalHelp.com. www.EstatePlanningSpecialists.com is a comprehensive online resource for personal wealth management solutions through wills and revocable trusts. www.Medi-CalHelp.com is a comprehensive online resource for long term nursing home care for the middle class. As Board Certified Specialists in Estate Planning, Trusts and Probate as certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, partners Mark E. Thompson and Kevin L. Von Tungeln are expertly equipped to serve clients with the creative, effective and custom solutions they demand.

Trusts and Estates Blog