People often say, “I will never put her in a nursing home.” or “Dad is never going to have to leave his home to live in one of those places.” We have the best of intentions when it comes to our senior loved ones. Of course, given the choice, anyone would want to remain home they know for as long as possible. As long as the situation at home is safe for everyone involved, keeping aging parents at home is a wonderful thing to be able to do.
It is vitally important to remember that senior care, especially when memory issues or health concerns are present, is one of the toughest and most stressful responsibilities there is. What you think you will be able to accommodate, you may realize is much easier said than accomplished. However, proper planning will make all the difference. Through open and honest communication, you can pull together some ideas and set some strategies in place so that when the time comes you will be better prepared to respond quickly and effectively.
Planning ahead to age in place takes good communication and realistic expectations.
Look at the Current Situation Realistically
Planning ahead is always hard because we don’t have crystal balls to know what might happen and how needs might change. The first step is to think about what kinds of help might be needed in the future. Looking realistically at what the current situation is can be a very helpful first step. If your loved one lives alone, for example, then there is no one in the home available for help, even short term. Should a medical issue arise, you know they will need some assistance.
Consider Current Illnesses and Conditions
Typically, medical conditions such as diabetes or emphysema worsen as we get older. Meet with your parent and their doctor now to discuss how these health problems could worsen and make it harder for them to get around or care for themselves in the future. This is not to be a dooms day thinker or frighten your parent! This valuable information will help considerable in your efforts to get out ahead of a potential issue in the future so that you can address it while still keeping your parent in their home. With some advance notice, you can best support your loved one by perhaps designing home modifications to make moving around safer. This information could give you enough time to set aside the funds to install a ramp or move a bedroom.
Issues to Consider Ahead of Time:
- Safety & Security
- Meal Preparation
- Personal Care
- Household Chores
- Money Management
Take Care of Decisions About Finances Now
Figure out now who will be the senior’s medical advocate and power of attorney. Everyone should have a Financial Power of Attorney as well as a Healthcare Power of Attorney. Medicare and Medicaid typically only pay a small amount toward in-home care, so having a conversation about finances is necessary.
Do Your Research
When the time comes, there are a lot of great resources available to seniors and their caregivers. If you take the time now to do some research, you will be prepared before a crisis happens. Find out who the agencies and organizations are locally to your loved one, as well as national resources such as the National Institute on Aging, AARP, National Area Agencies on Aging, and the American Academy of Homecare Medicine to name a few. Local home healthcare agencies are great resources because they have a broad understanding of the services available to seniors in a particular community. They can also offer other helpful tips on caregiving and what to anticipate. A Geriatrician can help with information about aging in place and in-home care, and can also provide mediation when there are disagreements about care.
Crises Make for Impulse Decisions
Don’t bury your head in the sand about the future needs of an elder. If you wait until there is a crisis, and everyone is under considerable stress, you will be forced to make hasty decisions. Planning ahead allows you the time to discuss options thoroughly, think them through, and plan accordingly.
How Arcadia New England Can Help
Allowing seniors to age in place safely is a core part of our mission at Arcadia New England. One way to ensure your loved one can remain in the comfort of their own home, is to work with an in-home care agency such as ours. This added support will unburden caregivers considerably. With professional care in the home, you ensure the senior will have all their needs met.
We believe our caregivers are the best in the business because we take the time to carefully screen and interview our team members, ensuring they have both the professional expertise necessary, as well as loving hearts and a dedication to helping others. We are here to provide assistance with daily needs such as meals, bathing and dressing to more extensive needs such as after surgery care, dementia care and end of life comfort.
Our Care Services include:
- Home Care Assistance
- After Surgery Care
- Ongoing Medical Care
- Personal Care
- Companion Care
- 24-Hour, Live-In Care
- Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care
- End of Life Comfort Care
- Respite Care
- Elderly Care
- Companionship, Transportation & Travel Aid
We want our seniors to continue to remain in their homes and live independently as long as possible. It is also our mission to ensure they get the help they need to be healthy, safe and feel secure. Call Us today if you have any questions we can help you with during your planning!