Do You Have a Headache?
Maybe you don’t have a real headache, but perhaps you have a metaphorical headache!
The tsunami of ageing Baby Boomers has created stress for families. Most simply don’t know where to start to sort things out for mum, dad or uncle Fred. It seriously is causing The Aged Care Puzzle Headache.
People are being thrust into the unknown realm of navigating the My Aged Care system. Then comes the dilemma of what to do with decades of accumulated stuff!
All this takes time and this is only the tip of the iceberg!
What More Could There Be?
Often ageing issues are hidden from the family for quite some time whilst partners cover for each other. Most don’t do this deliberately. They do it because they’ve been together so long that they can read how the other is going to behave or react. Then, just in the nick of time, they answer for them or take action in some practical way so others don’t notice the changes.
Forgetfulness and the onset of dementia can be masked for only so long before the truth rears its ugly head.
Then the Emotions Arise …
Dementia is only one condition afflicting older people. Increasing frailty and the ongoing number of losses add to the emotional impact of ageing.
These losses may include:
- Mobility issues
- Health issues
- Loss of a limb or a serious operation looming
- Loss of driver’s licence
- Friends or family dying
- Moving to a smaller home
- Sight and / or hearing failing
- Manual dexterity declining
- Inability to play golf / play bridge / go to the movies
Heck, I’m feeling emotional just writing this list!
How to Reduce the Aged Care Puzzle Headache?
Start having random, but regular, non-threatening conversations with your elders about the changes you’re noticing.
Often siblings have differing views, however, if all the kids are on the same page, it’s incredibly helpful. If all the input comes from just one daughter, she may be branded as a troublemaker, a dramatist or pushy.
So, gentle attempts at talking about ageing issues and different types of aged care options coming from different people, will prevent Mum, Dad or uncle Fred from branding one person as the enemy!
Most importantly, don’t come on heavy or they will back off. On the other hand, don’t let them bury their head in the sand either. Gently does it!
Expect some opposition.
Expect that any discussion about aged care issues will be held at arms length. Mum and Dad will stall for as long as they can because they are afraid of what lies ahead.
How Can We Improve their Quality of Life?
Firstly, ask this question and seek out the right information from good sources. Asking for advice on Facebook is fraught with issues.
I recently read a post by a lady enquiring about a financial aspect relating to residential care. The venom that was spat towards the government was toxic and the information was blatantly wrong. Please don’t ask for ageing advice from Facebook friends because the information you glean may be what you want to hear, but may be incorrect.
Now, divide the tasks to be done between siblings (if you have some). This lessens the chance of Carer Burnout.
A good place to start is by emailing for this little eBook Tips & Tricks to Reduce the AGED CARE PUZZLE HEADACHE
Where Can We Find Help?
- WEA Simplifying Aged Care – Wed 7th Feb 2024 – course runs four times each year in Adelaide (check the course guide as bookings are open)
- Catalyst Foundation (previously Senior’s Information Service)
- Phone Gail from Aged Care Explained +61 0408 013 371 – Helping People Anywhere in the World with Relatives Anywhere in Australia