You’ve noticed a few changes when you’ve visited your parents. Dishes are left in the sink, you find old or outdated food in the fridge and bills are past due. It seems mom and dad haven’t been getting out as much as they once did and they seem a little depressed. You know you need to find someone to take care of your parents, but you are thinking, “I don’t want to care for my elderly parents.”
Instead of you or one of your siblings becoming primary caregiver, consider
Option 1: Hiring In-Home Care
In-home care has become a popular solution for many elderly people and their adult children. It’s not the perfect fit for everyone, but many seniors benefit from the ability to live at home and have assistance with certain tasks.
For the Parents
In-home care can range from a few hours a day to 24-hour care, but keep in mind that it costs more than other options when you need full-time assistance. However, this is a good transition service when your parents need assistance with a few tasks but are still able to remain at home and live independently. One benefit of this service for seniors is they have someone to check on them and provide social interaction when they can’t get out as well as taking care of difficult tasks for them.
In-home caregivers can assist with personal tasks and homemaking chores. They also monitor the person for changes or concerns in their physical and mental health. An in-home health care aide is a great idea for those who want to remain at home, but beware of the signs that your in-home health care aide is scamming you.
For the Children
In-home care is an ideal choice for those who are trying to figure out how to help elderly parents who don’t want help. You can start out with just a few hours one or two times a week to assist the parents with difficult tasks like grocery shopping or laundry. They don’t have to move away from their home and you can maintain your relationship as their daughter or son, rather than their caregiver.
Another benefit of in-home care is that you know someone is checking on your parents if you can’t see them every day. You may not live near your aging parents, or you may travel regularly for work. This, in-home care provides peace of mind as you are apart.
Related: How to be a Good Caregiver
Option 2: Part-Time Respite Care
Respite care is an option for people who need more care or to have someone with them so they aren’t left alone. Many senior communities offer day respite where the person stays for eight hours or a set time and goes home at night.
For the Parents
Respite care is ideal for seniors who have limited mobility and need more opportunities to socialize the way they once did. It also ensures they get a good meal during the day and aren’t left alone where they could fall or get injured. However, they will still spend most of their time away from the respite care facility and will need to be somewhat independent. Respite care is also helpful for elderly who may be temporarily recovering from an injury and need some extra help temporarily. Learn more about Respite Care at Village Green.
For the Children
Part-time respite care is an option if both parents are living and one needs more care than the other. You mom may be caring for your dad, but have a doctor’s appointment of her own. When you take your caregiving mother to a doctor or for an outing, you know the your dad is in a safe place. It also gives you peace of mind to know they are being cared for during the day when they are most active. Respite care provides valuable assistance when you are caring for aging parents but don’t have time to devote all day. This can be a good option for adult children who are caregivers for their elderly parents when they need temporary reprieve for personal health reasons or to spend more time with their immediate family.
Respite care is less expensive than full-time assisted living because only a portion of the day is spent in the center. It can be a valuable resource when siblings don’t help with aging parents and the primary caregiver needs a break. It’s also popular with families when the adult child is the main caregiver and still needs to work a full-time job.
Compare the costs of different types of senior care with the recent information in the Genworth Cost of Care Survey.
Option 3: Independent or Assisted Community Living
The third option is often the most difficult to choose because the parent doesn’t want to move and the children don’t want to force the change. However, it can be a wonderful choice for seniors who want to enjoy life with less responsibility. If you are someone who says, “I don’t want to be a caregiver” and yet you want to ensure the best and most cost effective care for your loved one, this can be your best option.
For the Parents
Independent and assisted community living allows the senior to remain as independent as possible in a place that has been designed with their safety in mind. They can enjoy socialization and numerous activities in a safe and loving environment while still being able to maintain control by managing most of their own daily routine.
For the Children
This option provides peace of mind for the adult children because they know someone is always on hand if their loved one needs assistance. The senior parent is never truly alone because staff check in on them 3 times per day. One of the main benefits for the children is they can enjoy visiting with their parents again instead of being the caregiver. They can sit down and talk, eat together and laugh about life instead of constantly making decisions and helping them with tasks.
The cost of assisted living compared to in-home care is quite surprising to many people. Assisted living is often not as expensive as most would believe, especially when you compare the cost of upkeep to a home and other expenses along with the in-home care.
As you try to figure out how to deal with aging parents, think about each of these three options. As you can tell, this is a progressive situation, and what works for your parents today may not be the best option tomorrow. Be willing to make the necessary changes to get help with caring for elderly parents based on what they need right now. Explore your options to determine what is right for today and visit Village Green for the time when more help is necessary to continue the high-quality of life your parents deserve.
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