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Planning A Future Together

By Cheryl Ellis, Staff Writer

(Page 3 of 3)

When multiple family members are involved, everyone has an opinion on how the issue should be approached.  Since more than one opinion can help or hurt a discussion, consider having one family member be the spokesperson, keeping the same considerations for the personís ability to tolerate an intense talk. 
 
Be sure everyone is on the same wavelength before having a discussion, to avoid not only misunderstandings, but the later need to have another discussion once everything is settled.  You may be the primary caregiver, but circumstances may need to be changed if unforeseen events happen.  Even reticent family can be asked for input, which will bring them closer to your circle.
 
Focus on the positive aspects of planning, briefly addressing extremes that may happen.  Without advance planning the court may have to be called in, and the family may have limited decision making power, let alone the patient.  Planning is a method of preventing last minute interventions.
 
Caregivers have to look within and assess how they feel about planning before they can sit down to have a productive chat.  Information, research, and support systems provide the means to get things done.  They are only partially useful if you havenít come to peace with that portion of caregiving. 
 
You and your family member are caring for one another by making these decisions together. They are protecting you as much as you are looking out for them. One way to start the conversation is by saying, ďI need your help with something.Ē

American Bar Associationís printable kit to assist with planning care.

 

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