Did you know that by 2030 the senior population is expected to double to over 72 million?!

With aging parents and loved ones, this was a staggering fact for me to learn. The thought of our loved ones getting older and beginning to decline is never a pleasant subject to talk about, but the conversation needs to be started.

Today I have one of America’s leading experts in senior care here to share her insight with us, the wonderful Kelli Bradley.

Kelli’s first bit of advice to us is, start the conversation with your family. For some families this can be a very difficult thing to do. Despite how uncomfortable or unnatural it might be to talk about prematurely, it is going to be incredibly beneficial in the long run to have a plan set in place. If you have siblings, talk to them and come up with your own personal family plan of action based on what works for your particular family dynamic.

Kelli also informs us that we must differentiate between what is “normal” aging and what is a problem. Kelly advises us to make sure that our aging relatives are seeing medical professionals on a regular basis. It’s so easy for us to jump to conclusions, or assume an illness, but that is not our job. It is our job to make sure that our loved ones are seeing the proper doctors who can correctly diagnose them, if there is in fact an issue or illness that needs to be addressed.

40% of people who directly care for people with alzheimer’s actually die before the person they are caring for.

This was another statistic that I found astonishing! Caring for the elderly is a taxing responsibility. Oftentimes we find ourselves feeling an overwhelming sense of responsibility, and need to stop our own personal lives to care for a family member that has fallen ill. For me, this scenario brings up the question “when is it ok to ask for help?”

There may not be a straight answer to this question, since each family’s scenario is unique but the good news is, Kelli has created an online community where you can ask any questions that may arise for you during this process.

“Oldest Sister” is an online community where you can find invaluable resources, share your experiences and challenges in caregiving and find support from others going through similar situations. Answer questions, get your questions answered and start to feel a sense of peace as you navigate the journey of caregiving.

Having Kelli as my ILTV guest this week has most certainly inspired me to talk with my sisters and start to develop our family plan. I encourage all of you to start the conversation with your family. If you are feeling stuck or you’re not sure where to start, head on over to The Oldest Sister to read about other’s experiences of how they started the conversation.

When we share our stories, we inspire others. If you have personal stories of caregiving or developing your family plan, please share those experiences in the comment section below. You have the power to change someone’s life!

Dream it. Live it. BE it!

BlogSignature