Ideally, most people prefer to leave their parents in their own homes as long as possible. When their health conditions deteriorate, though, the time may come to look elsewhere for assistance or alternative housing that can provide the support that they need.
Deciding what to do when your parents need additional help with day-to-day living can be difficult. If and when your parents need that extra attention due to an inability to care for themselves, here are the options you have.
Geriatric Care Manager
Geriatric care managers specialize in advising caregivers—often the children of aging parents—on how to care for an elderly loved one. They can either offer consultation on an ad hoc basis or develop a comprehensive care plan depending on your needs.
In-Home Nursing Care
Often, hiring a nurse to come and visit your parents on a daily or regular basis may be the best solution. These professionals are also known as “companion caregivers.” This type of care is generally more affordable than placing them in a new home and can also be less disruptive to their mental health. Many people and their parents opt for an in-home nurse, especially if the parent or parents have a strong preference to remain in their home.
Area Agency on Aging
Many communities are home to an area agency on aging administered by the local government. This type of organization advises residents struggling with aging parents on the best ways to provide the care that they need. The biggest advantage of this resource is that you can use it to connect with a lot of local resources that you might not otherwise be aware of.
The decision to move an aging parent to a facility may not be your first choice. Your parents may be reluctant to move or feel like they are sacrificing too much independence. However, nursing homes have a number of advantages, both for your parents and for yourself.
If you are unable to provide the care your parents need, either because you do not live close enough or do not have the ability, a nursing home can be a very useful resource. They can monitor your parents’ health and provide advice and resources. The staff at this kind of facility will also be trained to respond to medical emergencies that your parents might experience.
Finally, it will encourage social interaction for your parents since there are so many individuals their age living near one another. You’ll also have more time to focus on yourself, your job, and your other priorities without having to worry about also caring for your aging parents. You can ease them into the move by discussing it beforehand and exhausting all other options first.
The decision to seek help for parents who can no longer care for themselves is not an easy one. Figuring out how to help can leave the children of elderly parents feeling helpless themselves. Follow the tips laid out here to facilitate a smooth transition and get your parents the appropriate care that they require based on their individual circumstances.