Finding that your aging family member is dealing with a terminal illness that is going to take her from you much sooner than you expected is difficult to face. Your senior may have suspected this diagnosis was around the corner, but it can be a quite different situation to actually receive this kind of diagnosis from her doctor. How you manage the next few weeks can make a tremendous difference for everyone.
Take the Time to Process
The first step needs to be allowing yourself to process the information that is coming your way. If this diagnosis is merely the next stage in a chronic illness for your elderly family member, you might have been prepared for this in a small way all along. Surprise diagnoses, on the other hand, can be absolutely devastating for you and your entire family.
Assess Your Aging Adult’s Needs
Start off by looking at what your elderly family member is going to need in the near future. It’s possible that hiring elderly care providers now can give you the stability that you need in this rocky time. Your aging adult may have some very definitive ideas about what types of treatments she’s willing to pursue, as well.
Assess Your Own Needs
You might have some very specific needs of your own, as well. Some of them may be quite practical, such as figuring out how to take time away from work or managing the schedules of other family members adequately. Some of what you might need could include emotional support to deal with your feelings. Finding what you need can help you to be there more for your elderly family member.
Don’t Shy Away from the Tough Talks
A terminal diagnosis may bring up topics that you and your senior family member have been avoiding. Now is not the time to shy away from these difficult discussions. Instead, use this as the opportunity that it is and take this time to really understand what your elderly family member wants in these final stages of her life.
Remember to give yourself time to deal with any emotions that pop up. This is a difficult time for both your elderly family member and yourself.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering elderly care in Los Gatos, CA, please contact the caring staff at Bay Area Home Care. Call today 650-938-4031.