October 14, 2019
link to facebook link to twitter
More Stories
Seven ways seniors can interact with pets Turn the page Five best pet types for seniors Prosthetic joints and dentistry When hard things happen Are you stressed out? The spirit of Alzheimer’s learning Part II Pets and seniors make the perfect pair Halloween pirate’s gold Fall risks are sometimes simple, yet fatal Is multi-generational living for you? Five ways our self-talk may be hurtful Natural disaster threats call for preparedness plan to protect seniors The spirit of Alzheimer’s learning  Winter sun safety: What to know about protecting yourself during colder months Tending to spiritual distress with aging and illness Blood pressure control a focus of American Heart month Home your own way March is colorectal cancer awareness month Safety at home for seniors Suicide - Are there answers? How to prevent bad breath War on opioids in California Help families make time for seniors during the holiday season Helping seniors with vision and hearing impairments Holiday stress-busters for harried caregivers It’s what’s inside that counts! Dental emergencies Don’t wait until it hurts! Does spring mean allergy season for you? Top 10 products to help seniors stay home How to take Tylenol safely The role companionship plays in aging 7 Tips to reduce the stress of incontinence caregiving Improving the state of aging in America Fight flu this season by getting immunized Confirm your preparedness plans for Seniors Did you get your flu shot? If not why not? A message from the heart Using anxiety to your advantage Youth, women and dementia The long-reaching impact of dementia Children’s dental health month Ten tips for healthy aging Planning for aging at home Thirty-four years as a dentist Tooth friendly Easter tips Feeding my hungry heart How to keep older adults cool during the heat of the day Invisible braces work wonders Senate passes Alzheimer’s and dementia research funding October’s most celebrated event Our Feelings Come From Our Beliefs Making sense of the season for seniors Cultures differ on what makes a beautiful smile! How to have a better year Falling in love is easy, but staying in love is very special A confession Women in dentistry Plan for where you want to age Three ways a senior can fund a home remodel Cannabis as medicine-Changing the face of aging May is skin cancer awareness month A brain is a reason to join the Alzheimer’s fight Recognizing and reporting elder abuse Dental technology- computers have changed our lives Create your personal Medicare account Understanding the aging brain Two ways to get your Medicare taken care of How to know if you are in danger of compression fractures Psychology Today The Art of Resilience: I Have I Am…I Can The advantage of dental implants Too much of a good thing for seniors and the holidays What families’ caregivers need to know about Recommendations for screen time Resolutions for your oral health Super Bowl, Joe Montana and blood pressure Open heart surgery – Thoughts from the other side Chewing gum - Helpful or harmful? Five tips for a healthy smile I will– I should– I can– I’ll try Rightsizing for seniors doesn’t have to be painful The Joy of Sadness Human Touch: The role companionship plays in aging at home Becoming who we really want to be How to fail well Back to school with healthy teeth Five ways to manage caregiver guilt Senior dating – Mom’s new relationship is heating up... Should you be concerned? Aspirin relieves mild pain Fighting osteoporosis and preventing fall-related injuries Un-retiring in a changing economy Coping with the unpredictable life of caregiving Double duty tools: toothbrush and floss Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Tips for living with low vision  Keep your Medicare costs down The freedom and choice to again place at home Put dementia on the agenda for 2019 Free app shows what Medicare covers The reason “Four” is the magic number? Preventing tooth decay in children Laughter is the best medicine Sports mouth guards-keeping teeth safe  Help your senior loved one avoid preventable hospitalizations Tips for keeping calm in the midst of crisis  Five cybersecurity tips for older adults Preparing kids for first dental visits Dental treatment concerns with patients taking blood thinners Home Health Care vs. In-Home Care: What you need to know Three ways to lessen negative thinking Amazing results with Arestin Navigating the aging journey Smoke and stress maintenance and recovery How to lower your surgery costs Know your pharmacist… Know your medicine as drug prices will jump in 2019 Influenza activity is increasing throughout California Show your kids’ teeth some love this Valentine’s Day! New life and stormy weather Your Medicare rights and protections Summer snacking and your child’s teeth Back to basics 10 summertime activities for seniors Three ways to boost your self-esteem Increasing West Nile Virus activity in Ca. Why are seniors targets for scams? Summer’s sun damages the skin Abscess gives warning 8 tips to minimize the behaviors of “Sundowning” Keeping your relationships fresh What are dental sealants? Healthy eating habits can benefit you and your teeth How does the body heal? Apply or renew Covered Ca. Health insurance by Jan. 15 Guilt from holiday eating Toothbrush tips Three reasons for a root canal Seniors: Say no to “free” genetic tests Yoga for relaxation & healing What causes sensitive teeth to hurt All of us make mistakes  Heat and older adults Five tips to cope with caregiver anger Back to school health Real decisions and moderation Three gifts you can give yourself Don’t stress, clench or grind! Gratitude and positivity can inspire caregiver self-care Medicare helps seniors use opioids safely Is it elder abuse or neglect? Dental scanning technology improves dental care Using Medicare when on foreign land I slept in last Saturday! Always being bright may not be so bright Trying to save a knocked out permanent tooth What happens to our teeth and gums as we age? Reduce wear and tear As Autumn begins, a reminder flu season can hit seniors hard Important: women and periodontal health Americans unaware of potentially life-threatening skin cancer Sun protection tips for young children Cannabis symposium Sept. 19th The importance of immunization Returning home is bittersweet Osteoporosis, osteonecrosis and dental health Living with Lupus Erythematosus How dentistry handles gastric reflux disease Use it or lose it- Muscle mass as you age  A free cheek swab test Twice a victim Finding a path forward after an accident Use it or lose it- Muscle mass as you age  If it is not broken, don’t fix it! Managing your mental health with or without insurance coverage Why gardening is the most recommended exercise for seniors

Overcoming fears surrounding End-of-Life care

By: Julie Ann Soukoulis
June 14, 2019

Communicating about end-of-life care and how to broach this topic with your aging parent or loved one can come up in simple everyday conversations.   They could begin as simply as sharing coffee after a family funeral and your father says “I never want to be hooked up to ventilators like Uncle Steve was,” or driving away from a nursing home visit and your mother says “I never want to end up in a place like that”. 

Statements such as these can give you a glimpse of what your loved one does or doesn’t desire for their end-of-life care. What they don’t provide you with, is the full picture you need to adequately plan ahead. The best plan of action is to have intentional conversations surrounding these concerns when you’re not in crisis, before there’s a reason to need such conversation.

Fear #1 I don’t want to die in a hospital or an institution like a nursing home.

How to manage this: There are many options for the end of life outside of nursing homes and hospitals. Educate yourself on what these options are for yourself or your loved one. Look into homecare options with your loved ones, or investigate what an aging community with various levels of care would look like for them.   Knowing your options and all involved in them ahead of time, will help when it’s time to make a decision if /when change is necessary.

Fear #2   I don’t want to lose my independence.

How to manage this: In today’s world there are so many devices & apps that offer opportunities to make a living at home as long as you can a viable option. Look into homecare options too so that your parent or loved one can stay living independently in their own home without feeling like they have to rely on family members to meet their daily care needs.  Often home care might be a temporary solution while a senior is ill or recovering at home from an injury.  A little bit a help early enough can ward off long-term struggles and keep your aging loved one living happier, safer, healthier and independently in their own home as long as they possibly can.  As a home care provider myself, I always remind our clients - we are not here to take your independence from you, rather to help you maintain it.

Fear #3 What if I get Alzheimer’s disease or dementia?

How to manage this: Designating a loved one with POA (power of attorney) will give that person the power to advocate when they no longer can for themselves. Let them designate a trusted person in their life with this responsibility and it will give your loved one peace of mind- that their care wishes will be met regardless of their mental acuity.

Fear #4   I hate the thought of being on ventilators to keep me alive.

How to manage this: One of the best gift you can give yourself and your family is to establish a living will. Many attorneys will prepare a Living Will as part of an estate planning package.  This investment is a gift to yourself and your loved ones as it outlines the treatment preferences in the event he or she is unable to make those decisions for him or herself. Here in California we have the POLST form (Physician orders for life-sustaining treatment). It is a medical order signed by both the patient and the physician that specifies the types of medical treatment a patient wishes to receive towards the end of life.

Culturally it’s normal to feel anxious talking about death.  Your parents may struggle to communicate clearly what their wishes are in advance of the end of life care. The best way to address it is to simply carve out time and be intentional with the conversation if the opportunity doesn’t naturally present itself.  The best conversation is where you get to ask questions to understand their wishes and reasoning behind their choices.  Do be sure to record your discussion by taking notes so you have something to refer back to when making plans in the future.  Having an open communication with your loved one will give everyone involved a sense of peace which will outweigh the anxiety leading up to the conversation.

Julie Ann Soukoulis is the owner of Home Instead Senior care office in Rohnert Park, mother of two and passionate about healthy living at all ages. Having cared for her own two parents, she understands your struggles and aims, through her website, to educate and encourage seniors & caregivers. Have a caregiving or aging concern?  She’d love to hear from you at 586-1516 anytime.