It’s hard to think about hard things. But as we get older, many people in my generation have stepped into a caregiving role. Often, this is because of a serious physical issue or mental decline we might not have seen coming. And in the aftermath, the family scrambles to figure out what’s best.
When a person is no longer able to speak for themselves, it’s all too easy to end up arguing with siblings or parents about the best version of care. It’s like adding salt to an open wound when you don’t know what your loved one wanted, but you’re suddenly in the position of figuring it out and fighting for what you think is best for someone who is incapacitated.
Of course, these situations open me up to figure out what I want in the future. It means I have to think about the difficult questions because I don’t want my kids to have to try to sort it out if I’m not able to voice it myself. Questions like, “If I have a long-term care event, what do I want? To stay at home? To get into assisted living?” and “What values and comforts are most important to me if I can no longer speak for myself?”
While we might have to step in to answer these questions for our parents, grandparents, or even spouses, we can help our own loved ones by writing down our intentions and what we want.
What’s your lineage?