As your parents get older, you’ll have to come to terms with the fact that they will reach a point at which they can no longer care for themselves. Whether cognitive decline becomes severe or they’re physically unable to care for themselves, it will be up to you to plan their senior care. These tips can help you prepare for that eventuality.
Discuss Your Parent’s Needs
If you have siblings, you should include them in conversations about your elder parent’s future care needs in addition to talking about this eventuality with your immediate family. This will help you decide how your parent’s care will be provided, such as hiring a home care aide or moving the parent into a nursing home. These discussions are important because they ensure everyone is in agreement. Your senior parent will be reluctant to accept any help, so presenting a united family will help convince them.
Explore the Options
Just in terms of assisted living facilities, there are many options in addition to the traditional nursing home. Each option provides a different level of care, so you should choose a facility or in-home care service that will meet your parent’s needs. You should also be open to the possibility that your parent will need to move into a facility that provides more comprehensive care after their health worsens. For this reason, be prepared to utilize the services of a couple different facilities.
Focus on the Positive Aspects
Telling a senior parent they need help isn’t likely to go over well, and it will likely make them react defensively. Instead, talk to your parent about the positive aspects involved in moving into an assisted living facility. You can talk about the activities and amenities the community provides for its senior residents. You can also point out all of the menial tasks they will no longer have to perform themselves. Tasks that include shoveling snow, mowing the lawn, and making minor repairs will all be handled by the facility’s staff.
Even after you have a plan in place to care for your senior loved ones, it will be important to recognize when that time has come. As you visit with your parents, be wary of signs of mental and physical decline, such as frequent memory lapses or trip and fall accidents. This will help you put your plan into action as soon as it becomes necessary to begin caring for your elder parent’s safety.