I’ve been focusing some recent Nursing Homes Abuse Blog entries regarding using various web resources for the selection of a nursing home or assisted living facility. We’ve spent a fair amount of time discussing the resources available via: states’ Department of Health, court websites and medicare, but there are many privately run sites that provide a terrific source of information– and even candid reviews of facilities.
Caring for elderly parents is something that many of us who are over 50 have to undertake. We are all living longer now and, therefore, more people over 50 have living parents and many of those parents either require care now or will do in the future. Some organizations and individuals advocate the “70/40 Rule.” That is, when your parent is 70 or older, and you are 40 or older, it is time to start thinking and have conversations about the subject.
Sometimes there is a specific event, like an illness, an injury, that trigger the beginning of the discussion, and sometime it is the onset of symptoms of aging, whether physical or mental, that causes us to start considering the options for our loved ones.
It is always best to be able to think and plan for the future when time is abundant, and there is no immediate crisis. Whilst it shouldn’t be something that we worry unduly about before the event, to the possible detriment of our own enjoyment of later life, neither is it something that we can totally ignore. Like anything else, a bit of forward planning will make life much easier if and when the time comes.
Also, if we have thought about it and planned for it in a calm and considered way, then it won’t be so traumatic when it happens. This will actually help us to find better solutions and therefore be happier with the outcome.
The fact that you are here at OurParents means that you are trying to understand your options, and we would like to assist you in the deliberation.
Before you begin the search there are five major areas that you should be thinking of:
- First and foremost is your loved ones age & health. How mobile is she? Is her memory functioning well? What is her ability to take care of herself on a daily basis and how independent is she? Does she require any special care ? These issues will determine the breadth of the options available to you. Anywhere from staying at home and receiving in-home care to moving to a nursing home, would depend mainly on her health and mental ability.
- You need to consider the financial situation. What is your loved ones ability to pay for care? Are there any savings or other assets that have been made available for this purpose? Are there any long term care insurance in place? You need to understand, as this would be a critical factor in your decision as to what care options are available to you. You also need to understand, what are the government aids available to you to assist with the financial burden? Are Veteran options applicable? What does Medicare cover and is your loved one eligible?
- You also need to understand your family’s situation and its willingness to support your loved one on this journey. Who will be the primary caregiver? Is it just yourself? Are siblings or other family members, willing and able to assist?
- Another consideration is your parent’s emotional readiness for the transition. Do you know whether a move will prove to be a big issue for them, and they will fight it, or are they ready for the change, and accept it as a necessary move? Have you had “the conversation” yet? Do you know what to expect or are you in for a surprise reaction?
- Last but not least to consider is location. Would you be looking for a place in the vicinity of your loved one’s current home? Would it make more sense to move closer to yourself or to another sibling? Perhaps it makes sense to move a warmer climate?
Having good answers to these questions will help you better assess your options and assess your alternatives that generally fall under the following 3 categories:
- Staying in their own home, or staying with you with various possibilities for in-home care.
- Moving to a Senior Community
- Moving to an Assisted Living Community or Nursing Home, be it a traditional one or an alternate Micro Community.