WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As Americans honor their mothers and fathers this spring, Alexander Fiuza suggests a special gift for an aging parent: fulfilling his or her living wishes. “You still have time to make a difference in a parent’s life,” says Fiuza, PhD, Matrix Home Care’s director of client services for Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. “Don’t wait until it’s too late.”
Several years ago, Fiuza was able to make one of those living wishes come true for a single mother dying of cancer. “She had told her daughter that she regretted never marrying,” he recalls. “Since there was no time to waste, we told the father and found a minister who married them. It was a beautiful ceremony and her living wish came true.”
If an aging mother or father is diagnosed with a terminal medical condition, it’s important for family members to have a heart-to-heart conversation, according to Pernille Ostberg, MBA, RPh, Matrix president and CEO. “This is the time for children to ask their parents how they want to spend their remaining time,” she says. “That discussion should include the parent’s preferred options for care along with two or three living wishes.”
For instance, one father might wish to visit a vacation home, walk along the beach or spend a few days with his grandchildren. A mother might like to browse through old photographs, touch her bridal gown, or give a piece of jewelry to her daughter. Fiuza says simple wishes can be just as meaningful, like preparing a favorite family meal.
“For Father’s Day, ask your dad what’s most important to him,” he adds. “You might be surprised by his living wishes.”
Fiuza says physicians should be honest with patients and family members rather than trying to “sugar-coat” a diagnosis of advanced cancer, dementia or other incurable condition. “Patients don't want to hear that they are dying, and doctors don't want to tell them,” he says. “But family members need to know what’s happening so they can make important decisions.”
Fiuza also emphasizes the importance of preparing a living will to ensure that doctors, hospitals and family members know what to do if a parent can no longer communicate. “Parents should talk with their doctors or caregivers about the options, so they can make decisions based on their beliefs and values,” he adds. “That’s the right approach for the whole family.”
Based in West Palm Beach, Matrix provides a complete array of services, home health care, disability management so injured employees can quickly return to work, independent senior care based on the needs of the elderly and specialty nurses' services, including wound care, infusion therapy and rehabilitation nursing. Certified as a woman minority owned business, Matrix serves Southwest, Southeast and Central Florida from locations in West Palm Beach, Tampa, Bradenton, Venice, Fort Myers, Boca Raton, Pompano Beach, Coral Gables and Jupiter.
For more information: www.matrixhomecare.com.