For those of you 85 years and older—congratulations on reaching what we professionals call, “ the oldest old.” Some folks in this category are doing remarkably well and are living full, interesting lives. Others unfortunately are struggling cognitively or physically with challenges.
Many adult children I encounter who are taking care of their aging parents, struggle to work together with their siblings. Relationship issues from childhood return when faced with the need to collaborate and communicate about parents.
In what becomes a form of role reversal, adult children find themselves needing to get involved in healthcare, finances, and day-to-day care needs of those who once cared for them.
Nobody has a crystal ball that will tell us who will have a sudden or chronic illness, an accident or injury and when these things might occur. So as we watch our loved ones age, be proactive and get prepared.
Here are some important and practical things to know and do so that when/if a crisis hits, you will be better equipped to make decisions in a fast-paced stressful situation.
Recently, a very frail client I have known for many years entered the hospital with a serious and sudden health crisis. She was 89, had survived cancer, a stroke, and lived with the debilitating results of Parkinson’s Disease for over 15 years. She needed 24-hr care and assistance with everything, but was cognitively sharp most of the time.