Have you noticed any concerning changes in your elderly parent?
Maybe they’ve been fine, but suddenly you’re seeing memory issues, such as forgetting or repeating the same things repeatedly. Perhaps you’ve noticed difficulties driving, keeping the house clean, navigating stairs, or paying bills.
Some elderly parents just become more withdrawn. Others begin making charges against others, stating that someone has taken or moved something or becoming paranoid.
These developments raise several concerns for many family members. What’s the problem? What is going on? Is it safe for Mom to continue driving? Should Dad be left alone for much longer?
By the time you notice changes and have safety concerns, you may be right: your parent requires some assistance. So, how should you become engaged, especially if previous attempts have been unsuccessful?
It’s not going to be easy. These scenarios are problematic from a medical and eldercare standpoint, and they tend to elicit painful feelings in both elderly parents and adult children.
Therefore, if you want to take your aging parents to the senior living facility in Newport Beach, here is how to go about it. Use these steps to transform the problem of “my aging parents require assistance” into a practical, realistic strategy to keep mom or dad as healthy and happy as possible.
Assess what needs your parents require
Most adult children of aging parents do not like to think about their parents’ health deteriorating to the point where they cannot care for themselves safely. The decline is frequently slow, and it can also be subtle. If you don’t live near your parents, detecting signs of decreasing health might be challenging.
To address this issue, take a step back and assess how much assistance your parent needs daily. Do they need help with their medical needs, home safety, meal preparation, cognitive health, personal hygiene, mobility, or social interaction? For example, let’s say your dad has heart problems and managing diabetes and has no other relatives nearby, lives in a rural region, and doesn’t like cooking for himself.
Furthermore, because you reside across the city, he will require assistance with medication management, transportation, and food preparation.
You may hire a driver for doctor’s visits and errands, arrange grocery or meal delivery, and employ an in-home caregiver to prepare meals and ensure he takes his prescription to offer the assistance he requires.
Include your parents in the decision making
Nobody likes to lose control of their lives, mainly if they are already worried about losing their independence. That is why it is critical to include your parent as much as possible in planning their care. This makes you appear to them as a collaborator rather than someone storming in to make changes.
They are likely to be hesitant at first. Therefore, it will most likely require several discussions. Try not to force changes on them if they are not in urgent danger. You could start with less invasive ways and gradually increase the level of assistance.
Unless it’s an emergency, prepare your aging parents to accept aid by focusing on one or two vital needs. After that, gradually increase their assistance until they receive all the necessary help.
Check the finances
Caring for your elderly parent will cost you money. Estimating future costs is a reliable method for being prepared. Consider the medical care they are likely to require, the expense of their probable living arrangement (such as assisted living versus moving in with you), daily costs such as meals, caregiving supplies, home safety improvements, and so on.
Once you understand their financial situation, you’ll be able to determine if they can afford the treatment they require or whether they’ll want financial assistance.
Government programs, Medicaid, and other programs cover long-term care. You might wish to talk to an elder law attorney or a financial adviser about Medicaid eligibility. Regardless, planning is wise, so you don’t get caught in a financial bind.
Ensure your parent have accessible communication
Another factor that keeps your parent safe is the capacity to contact them for assistance and communicate with relatives and friends. Aside from being a safety danger, loneliness and isolation have a major detrimental impact on overall health.
Make sure their phone is simple to use and accessible. Some people find it convenient to have a modest mobile phone with pre-programmed contacts.
Learn about potential legal issues
Suppose you’ve seen any issues with memory, judgment, or other cognitive abilities. In that case, it’s a good idea to understand more about mental capacity and when an elderly person may be declared disabled or “incompetent.”
This is significant for various reasons. such as if your aging parent has ever signed a power of attorney for healthcare or legal concerns, you (or someone else) may only be able to act if they are “incapable.” (This is “springing” power of attorney.)
Just because your elderly parent dismisses your worries, ignores safety concerns, or refuses to accept aid does not imply that they have lost mental capacity. Still, learning more about capacity will help you decide whether to dig into it more now and in case the case changes.
Assess different care options
Caring for your parent may be daunting, even after breaking it down into manageable parts. Fortunately, there are several aging care alternatives and helpful services available.
- Geriatric care managers can serve as consultants to advise you or oversee all elements of your parent’s care. Their knowledge might save you time, money, and hassles in the long run.
- Hired caregivers care for the elderly in their homes, whether you hire them personally or via a home care service.
- Assisted living communities – If your parent cannot live alone or requires 24-hour care, assisted living and other senior home choices may be the best option.
- Geriatricians (geriatric physicians) specialize in elder care and have more expertise in treating seniors with various chronic health issues, dementia, and other disorders that mainly affect older folks.
- The Area Agency on Aging is a county-level government organization that helps local senior citizens. It’s an excellent place to start since they connect you to valuable local resources and government initiatives.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions, and data in these publications are solely those of the individual authors and contributors, not Credihealth and the editor(s).
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