As parents begin to age, it falls to their adult children to help them plan for a future that will best fit their needs, wants, and capabilities. This decision is a complex one, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. To make it a little easier, here are some factors to consider before choosing an environment that is right for your loved ones.
- Before deciding on senior care services, it’s really important to consider the needs and capabilities of your parents. Can your parents take care of their daily needs independently, or are they needing assistance with the day-to-day necessary activities? Additionally, if your parents are experiencing dementia or Alzheimer’s, it will be important to research homes that provide memory care, as well as around-the-clock medical assistance.
- Another necessary component of senior care research is to research the legal, medical, and financial planning that will be necessary to do, but it can definitely be overwhelming. Luckily, there are many resources available that can help you navigate the complex web of policy, procedure, and processes involved when planning for your parent’s future. Additionally, finding out the financial resources available to your parents will further illuminate what kind of senior care facility, if any, is a wise choice.
- One factor that sometimes gets overlooked in any kind of caregiving planning is the needs and capabilities of the caregiver. It’s really important to think about your needs and abilities when it comes to possibly become the caregiver to your parents. For example, things to think about include:
- Is there enough space in your home or on your property so that you could feasibly house and care for your parents?
- Being the primary caregiver for your parents is a major life choice that will impact family dynamics, employment, and daily activities: are you emotionally ready to take something like this on?
- Are you making this decision out of guilt, or because having your parents with you is the best decision for them?
- Is your home or property medically safe for your parents, and if it isn’t, will you be able to afford the changes necessary to ensure a safe environment for your parents?
- Finally, the last factor to think about when it comes to planning for your parent’s future is to think about the emotional and mental well-being of you and your immediate family. It is common for children to have seen their parents as invincible, which can make it very difficult to watch them age, forget things, or become unable to fully care for themselves. It’s really important to plan for these emotional barriers that may arise as your parents begin to age and require senior care. Things you can do is research available therapy in your area, buy and read books on aging, and consider, also, the possible impact this will have on the rest of your family.
Watching your parents age is a privilege, but it also comes with many factors to consider. Planning ahead is one way to mitigate the overwhelming nature of navigating and planning for senior care services. By thinking about the four factors listed above, you can better ensure that your parents have a safe, healthy, and happy future.