Making Life Changing Decisions for Your Elderly Family Members


Providing senior care to your elderly loved ones is, most often, an act of love and support. Unfortunately, this care can require you to make some extremely difficult decisions, such as when to call in home care services, or how to address specific medical care questions. Although these decisions are hardly easy, you can prepare for them before having to face them.

Tammy, from Columbia, South Carolina, provides senior care for her grandmother. As her sole care giver, Tammy is responsible for many aspects of her grandmother’s life, from getting her to her doctor appointments on time to making sure that she eats a healthy diet. But Tammy has been thinking about the bigger decisions that loom on the horizon. What is she going to do if her grandmother needs medical care she cannot provide? How will she react if a doctor recommends a nursing home, instead of home care? Preparing for these decisions is important to Tammy, as she wants to ensure that she makes them correctly .

3 People Tammy Can Consult with to Make the Best Care Decisions:

1. Her grandmother: By having an open and honest conversation about her grandmother’s wishes regarding senior care and end-of-life decisions, Tammy feels confident that she can make medical care decisions in the way her grandmother wishes.

2. Her grandmother’s doctor: The doctor couldn’t talk specifically about Tammy’s grandmother without her approval; however, he could help Tammy understand the medical options that may lie before her. After gathering this information and considering it with her grandmother, Tammy knows they have prepared to make informed decisions about medical care.

3. Her family’s lawyer: End-of-life care is a major responsibility—and it can become a legal one. To ensure that all of her grandmother’s wishes are carried out accurately, Tammy requested that her grandmother write a living will and appoint durable power of attorney to the person of her choice. In this way, her wishes will be clear and will be honored.

Tammy may have to make decisions that haven’t been addressed by these preparations; however, the preparation Senior carestage has allowed her to get to know her grandmother well enough to make the appropriate decisions if the time comes.