03 Jun The Talk
It saddens me to read the details of the recently released reports on the state of some of the long term care facilities in Ontario. It is our duty as citizens, not to mention as compassionate human beings, to advocate for those who can no longer look after themselves. How devastating that it took a worldwide pandemic to bring these appalling situations to the forefront. The conditions and issues were something that no one wanted to talk about. Occasionally, complaints were raised, but not addressed and resolved. They weren’t going away by avoiding them, just that no one wanted to have that conversation, and the consequences grew worse with passing time. Until the situation exploded.
Now may be a good time to introduce The Talk with your elderly loved ones. It can be brought up casually from time to time in conversation well before the actual need arises for any action, but it is good to know their wishes and hopes for their future, should the need arise for eldercare. Although circumstances may influence or sometimes prevent their imagined plans for the future, it will be helpful to get an idea of how they envision their upcoming years, whether it be living independently, living with family, remaining in the home with caregiving or companion assistance, or community arrangements. Your occupational therapist or other healthcare provider can assist you in starting this important conversation. They can give you pointers on how to approach the topic, what questions to ask, what information to gather or observations to make. It will be so much easier to ask the questions and know their wishes in a relaxed, casual situation, before a time when you may be pressured to make immediate decisions for your elderly loved ones. It’s always a good idea to anticipate future needs.