Based on recent reports, approximately 90 percent of elderly Americans want to age in place. For some, that’s a perfectly logical option. After all, if they’re physically and mentally able to take care of themselves, why shouldn’t they?
Of course, that’s not the case for all seniors. Many who would like to remain at home lose the ability to take care of themselves over time. While at-home caregivers may be the right solution for some, that’s just not enough for everyone. In many instances, a senior living community would be the better option.
Determining the Best Course of Action for Mom and Dad
First of all, it’s important to determine the level of care an elderly parent may need. Like many people, you may want to take care of your parents. Doing so may be more than you can handle on your own, though. That’s especially true if you have a family of your own to take care of and a job that requires much of your time and attention.
Think about just how much help your parents seem to need. Can they take care of the basics as long as they have a little extra help with certain chores and running errands? Do they have chronic health conditions that may be difficult for them to manage on their own? Is a parent struggling with even basic activities, like bathing and cooking? Will one or both parents require memory care at some point?
All those questions can help you decide if a memory care community would be the most suitable solution. Perhaps you could divide caregiving responsibilities among yourself and your siblings. Maybe hiring a caregiver would help lighten the load or taking advantage of occasional respite care might give you a much-needed break. For now, those options could give you a chance to gradually and gently present the thought of assisted living to your parents.
Discussing Assisted Living with a Reluctant Parent
It’s no secret that not all aging parents are ready and willing to think about moving to an assisted living with memory care community. Some are hesitant while others absolutely refuse to consider such a notion. In situations like those, coming up with a solution that pleases everyone can be difficult if not impossible.
When bringing up the subject with an aging parent, be sure to show compassion and concern rather than anger or frustration. Consider inviting parents to research or tour assisted living communities with you rather than telling them they have to live in one. If you’re their primary caregiver, don’t be afraid or ashamed to explain to them the toll their care is taking on you.
Perhaps one parent needs help but the other insists on providing that care. You may need to explain to the latter that catering to the other parent’s needs is more than he or she can handle. Pointing out that assisted living could ensure a parent receives care from highly trained staff members may also help. If all else fails, you may need to practice the age-old art of tough love.