Are you prepared to assist your parents in transition as they grow older?
Many elderly couples live in their own home without assistance until they pass away. You may gradually start seeing forgetfulness, accidents, loss of mobility, hearing or vision impairments, and other indications that your loved one may not be able to be on their own independently.
It will probably be the toughest conversation a child will ever have with their parent. Seniors often believe that they will be able to maintain complete independence for the rest of their lives. Sit down with your parents often to maintain the positive communication so that when there is a critical decision to be made, your parent will feel as though they have a voice.
Provide options and allow your parents to consider what may be the best alternative to maintain their independence while receiving minimal assistance. Check-ins several times a week, someone to prepare meals, housecleaning, and transportation can assist with their independence.
Some signs to look for that your parents may need assistance include bruising on body, forgetfulness, sudden weight loss, lack of bathing, dishes piled in kitchen, unpaid bills, spoiled food in refrigerator, and a general feeling of discontent or depression when you speak to them.
Have a meeting with all the siblings or extended family members before approaching your parent. The ultimate goal should be to keep your parent safe while maintaining as much dignity and independence as possible. Make a list of questions prior to your meeting. Seek additional information.
Explore your options in the area with your senior to get their opinion. Let them know that information gathering is a good way to know what options are available to assist them. Always allow them to be part of the decision, insuring that their well being is the most important aspect of the future. Some facilities will allow a senior to live in their home for a trial period.
Is there one person who will assume the lead in decisions as Power of Attorney? One child should be designated as the senior’s primary advocate. What are the plans to downsize? As seniors get older they tend to hold into items and hoard. Decide what can stay, what can be boxed up, and what items need to be donated or tossed out.
The most important element is that your parent must understand that you are what is right for their best interests at any time. Moving from their home or choosing caregivers to assist with activities of daily living in the home is an overwhelming experience for anyone. Even though it may be a safer environment, the transition may provide feelings of fear, anxiety, and isolation. Make all decisions with love as they once cared for you!
We are here to assist with ANY questions you may have at any time.