This is something that many of us are dealing with. It’s called the “sandwich generation” as many are dealing with raising their children while at the same time having to care and make decisions for parents that are getting older.
But, if you have ever dealt with a parent, they tend to be stubborn and they do not think of you as an adult. As a result, they do not feel that you are right or that you are capable of making decisions for them. Unfortunately, this is not true. And as their health fades, it can be that much more difficult to deal with them. There are a few things that can make it easier on everyone involved.
Talk to your parent about their wishes
If need be, get it put into some sort of document so that everyone can see it and it does not come under dispute when a stressful situation arises. This document can pertain to how they want health issues handled, finances or other matters. If your parent has any sort of health issues, it is best to have this chat sooner than later as you never know when something major may happen and they are no longer capable of decisions.
While it is morbid, discuss end of life care
You hope this will not be an issue for years, but you never know when something will affect them in a debilitating way. In this discussion, talk about a DNR (do not resuscitate) as well as a living will, their will and funeral. It’s important to know what they want in order to make the best decisions for them and everyone else. You should discuss finances, power of attorney or any other relevant information such as a family member with special circumstances they are caring for.
If you have siblings, talk to them
Talk to your siblings about the situation and what is going on. This may not be easy as they may not see things the same way you do. Discuss what you think you need to do as a family to keep your family member safe and healthy. This can add stress to your relationship with your siblings as well as any other family members that may be involved in the discussion. If need be, find an impartial third party to keep the communication civil.
I am not suggesting any of this is easy or simple. I see coworkers struggling as their siblings are not on the same page of them and these topics were never discussed in advance. But it is best to discuss and determine how you may potentially handle these topics before they become an issue.
Sharon has been involved with Direct Sales for the last five years and has created a blog, Direct Sales Help, and several books to go with it. She has also published a book to help those in the craft industry to start a business and the steps to go along with it, “A Guide for Crafters”.