Ask An Expert — “Can I Plan Ahead for My Aging Parent’s Changing Care Needs?”

Courageous conversations key to avoiding caregiver fatigue
Magnolia Gardens Care Centre Director of Care Sue Wilson

Planning ahead is an excellent idea! The need for increased care for loved ones can and does happen unexpectedly. A fall, a bout of pneumonia or the loss of a spouse can trigger the need for a higher level of care—this may include the need for long-term care in a licensed care home. These changes can be stressful for everyone involved, but planning can ease the stress and provides a pathway of next steps for the seniors and their families.

Have THE Conversation

Talking about future arrangements can be difficult for both seniors and their loved ones. A candid conversation to discuss these delicate issues before a crisis happens reduces stress and ensures clarity and respect of their wishes. Bite the bullet and have the conversation. It can be over a family meal or in any relaxed setting. I also highly recommend that you have a discussion with your children about the same thing. It is the greatest gift you can give them; taking away the guesswork of ‘what would Mom want?’’

A Local Doctor

Most senior care homes will require their residents to have a family doctor who is available and has access to the nearest hospital. Ask the family doctor if they are willing and able to follow your loved one’s care when they move. If moving into a care home results in a change of community, a new family doctor may be needed. The Director of Care will most likely be able to assist you in finding a new doctor if necessary.

Power of Attorney vs. Representation Agreement

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows your loved on to decide who will manage their financial affairs in the event they are no longer able to do so. A Representation Agreement is a legal document that determines who will be authorised to make health care decisions on their behalf if they are no longer capable. A lawyer or notary can help you prepare these important documents.

Take A Tour

Long-term care homes are all unique, as are your loved ones. Some will be a better ‘fit’ for your loved ones than others. Take time to visit and get a feel for whether they will be the best choice; will they care for your loved one with the compassion, respect and dignity they deserve.

Bria Communities Care Centres at Magnolia Gardens in Langley and The Waterford in Tsawwassen welcome you to tour through at any time. A visit is an excellent opportunity to meet our dedicated and professional Care Centre team, understand our services and familiarise yourself with our space and amenities.

When a loved one’s care needs change, there can be stressful for everyone involved. Preparing ahead of time by having essential conversations, gathering necessary documents and researching your future options for long-term care will help make the transition easier.