As described in this New York Time article titled, “A Tiny Stumble, a Life Upended”, life can change in an instant for older adults who fall. Yet, quite often, the impact is felt by close family members as well. This article is a reminder of why it is so important for older adults and close family members- typically the adult children- to be in discussion about how such a situation would be addressed. What is the plan? Who would take the lead in providing or cooridinating necessary care? Don't wait until after something occurs figure out a plan, which is really no plan at all.
Older adults who live at home should begin asking in advance questions such as, “Is my home the best place to be if something like that were to occur or would I be better served in a community setting where support is available on site?” If there isn't family nearby then staying in the home may not be the best place to remain. Yet, even when there is family nearby, are the family members willing and able to provide the type of assistance that may be required? What might be the emotional, physical, and financial toll on a family caregiver?
Although it is nearly impossible to plan for every potential scenarios, some planning is better than none. Simply having the talk is often the best place to start. Consider starting the discussion with the question, “What would we do in our family if something occured like that which is described in this article?”
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