Best Options To Help An Elderly Parent

Taking care of a parent and ensuring they are able to spend their days comfortably is important. Talk with your parent to discuss their wishes for their care as they age. While it is difficult to have these conversations, it will benefit you and other family members to have everything planned as early as possible to get input from your aging loved-one.

Taking care of an elderly parent

As your parent ages his or her needs will change. You should look out for issues that might come up, such as illness, injury, or a need for regular care. Your parent might experience new health concerns, ranging from arthritis to Alzheimer’s disease. As their health status changes, you will have to be prepared to reassess their living situation and care needs.

Make a realistic plan with your parent to meet their needs. If your parent owns the home they live in, it will be difficult to convince them to move away from a place that is likely paid off, where they are comfortable, and that is filled with many memories. Sometimes their mobility and health needs require others to care for them, which might require them to move to a place that can meet their needs.

Consider the financial aspects of having your parent live in their own home, live in your home, or in a care home. Research and compare the cost of maintaining their lifestyle in their home with home health aides versus having them stay in your home with your assistance or an aide. Look into whether Medicare and Social Security benefits will pay for a care home, since long-term care is usually not covered. Find out if your parent has insurance that covers this or savings devoted to their housing and care.

Sometimes you can help your parent stay in their home as long as possible with some financial help and frequent visits to help them with chores and errands. If their medical needs exceed what you can provide, think about hiring a home health aide to make home visits to care for them.

Consider having your parent move into your home so you know that they are getting the best care. There are many benefits to having them in your home, including knowing that their medical and emotional needs are met every day. It might be a great experience for your kids, if you have children, to live with their grandparent, which allows for plenty of quality time. If you cannot care for all your parent’s needs alone, consider hiring health aides to come to your home. This still cuts down on some expenses when compared to having them live in their own home since you are able to combine households, and you are there for them if anything happens at any hour.

When it comes to finding a care home for your parent, consider their needs and abilities. Assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities, and independent senior communities are just a few of the options that might fit the needs of your loved one. Know that there are specialty facilities built to care for individuals with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. If your parent is living at home now, they might be suited for an independent senior community that allows them the freedom they are used to at home. This can have the added bonus of being surrounded by seniors and services for seniors, like transportation to the grocery store and help with chores.

Regardless of the housing option selected, keep a tone of kindness when explaining why your parent needs assistance. Instead of pointing out how they cannot remember things and do things like they used to, focus on the facts. Mention potential consequences and a need for professional assistance. Then propose options when the timing is right.

End of life plans

Talking about the end of life with your parent might be difficult. Set aside time to talk to avoid the pressure of making decisions while grieving at the end of their life. Discuss how they want to handle their funeral preparations, and determine whether they would like a casket burial or cremation services. Plan a time when they are able to meet with a provider to discuss all of their options.

Casket burials and cremation services both allow for a respectful service. Cremation provides a dignified and affordable option. Your loved one might prefer cremation and a ceremony scattering the ashes at a memorable location.

Caring for your parent as they age involves many different personal decisions. Sit down with your parents to have conversations about housing, care, and end of life plans. Start the conversation by expressing that these discussions come from a place of love and caring. Planning for the future is never emotionally easy, but the benefits of planning early outweigh the stress caused by waiting.

17 Comments

  • Australian home care

    The number one benefit of home health care is that it allows patients to receive personal care in the privacy and comfort of their own homes. For aging and homebound individuals, in-home care facilitates them in remaining as functional and independent as possible, providing a much higher sense of security and dignity.

  • care homes

    Care homes may also offer social activities such as day trips or outings. Care homes are sometimes referred to as residential homes, and the care residents receive is called residential care.

  • polly

    One of the hardest thing to experience when you become the parent of your parents. I went through this with my Dad. But it also gave me a lot of special time with him.

  • michele

    Getting all the finances of an aging parent is very important and there are times when the parent does not want to do this.. out of fear that they might lose control of one aspect of their life but you must get them to come to grips with that

  • Kate Sarsfield

    Do you know something? Since I last posted here a couple of days ago, I’ve been giving this a lot of thought. It’s also the 2nd anniversary of Dad’s death tomorrow so the issue has been on my mind. Anywho, my point is this: while Mum is physically in pretty good shape apart from aches & pains and is (touch wood) cancer-free, her short-term memory continues to deteriorate. Heartbreaking and sad but with a glorious upside as well! I have been honoured to hear her talk about her childhood, her parents, siblings & extended family. Much as when Dad & I were travelling up & down to Dublin for radiotherapy for months, this shared time is so beautiful & will stay with me for as long as I can remember it.

  • Kate Sarsfield

    This is such a difficult issue for all of us. No-one wants to think of the time when a parent is going to die but we really should. Dad died in his sleep but had made a will and his wishes re. his funeral service etc. were well known.

  • CJ

    My parents and I have already had the conversation regarding how they want things to go when they pass on. It isn’t the most pleasant conversation to have but it’s important to have it, before it’s too late.

  • Tamra Phelps

    My Mom is 70 now & she has a few health problems. Fortunately, I don’t have to take care of her (other than just being here & taking care of her meds.) But, these are all good points. We will all get there someday.

  • Veronica Lee

    Thanks for this post, Connie. I am having a tough time discussing this topic with my elderly parents. They are hell-bent on not leaving their home and are reluctant to receive assistance.

  • Linda Manns Linneman

    This is so important. Being a nurse I am around people that have to make these decisions every day. Thank you for the great advice

  • CJ

    This was a great post to read. I think it’s important to have patience and understanding with your elder relatives especially when they have to face the fact that they might not be able to live on their own and need to be taken care of. My grandparents struggled with it, but once they accepted it, it got better for them.

  • Tamra Phelps

    It’s always hard to discuss end of life plans. But you know it needs to be done. You don’t want to wind up completely unaware of what your parent wanted.

  • Rosie

    It can often be good to go to an eldercare attorney, and see if you can get your parent(s) to go, there may be many ways to help make their lives much, much better, to care for them.

  • Sarah

    Your post reminds me of my grandmother. Last year my grandmother was sick, we took care of her with overflowing love but she passed away. It was a big loss for my family.

  • michele

    Great post. As someone who took care of both my parents being an only child, I faced a good many of the issues you mentioned.. The hardest one was convincing my mum that she could come and live with us… then after another major surgery and the rehab she was so happy to come with us.. Sad that she only lasted 5 months….

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