Your parents have done everything they can to take care of you your whole life. Running around to practice, birthday parties, provided food on the table and warm hugs on cold nights. Then the day comes when they need you. What do you do when your parents need you to take care of them? You do everything you can to return the favor. Unfortunately sometimes you just can’t provide the assistance they need on your own. You’ve tried everything, they may have even lived with you, but they need more care than you can provide. How do you choose when it’s time for assisted living and how much assistance do they need?
Making the Call
We all have to face it, life is a circle and those who once cared for others now need care themselves. And they deserve a thoughtful approach to making these decisions. Whether it happens with a slip and a fall or if they become ill, it can happen in the blink of an eye. You may be able manage on your own for a while, but there will come a time when they need more assistance. How do you make the call? Communicate with the; make sure they are comfortable and understand the changes in their needs. Ensure that paperwork and finances are in line and that you have a good understanding of their finances. Finally, make sure that your parent or parents are in the loop when it comes to deciding on a place to live. It is going to be their home, and they need to like the atmosphere. It is a tough decision for everyone, obviously toughest on them. Treat them like the adults they are and let them make decisions whenever possible. Try and make it as smooth and painless as possible.
Finding the Right Home
Finding the right home will depend on the amount of care they will need. There are distinct differences between assisted living and a nursing home. Assisted living is a facility that has trained medical professionals on staff and available if needed. A nursing home is 24/7 care. Unless your parent absolutely needs the constant care, a nursing home is probably not the best option. Pick a home that allows them to live their life as independently as possible. Look for a home that has social activities, good food options, health care and security. Also find one that has space for them to be outside and enjoy a breath of fresh air. It should have surroundings that make them feel comfortable and happy.
No question that making the call to move your aging parents into assisted living will probably be one of the toughest calls you’ll ever have to make. With open communication and ensuring that you have selected the best assisted living community for your parents will help ease the transition. You and your parents will be happier for it.
Content provided by Bruce Zander, lifestyle writer for The Meadows Community in Castle Rock, CO.