As your parents age, you may worry about their safety and mental alertness. If you don’t live near them, it can be difficult to visit and check in. Even when you’re close by, you may search for an excuse to drop by without them getting upset about your motives. This issue continues to be a concern even when your loved one has moved into assisted living, because you want to be sure they are being cared for properly. Here are a few ideas on how you can do just that.
Get a List of Resources
Whether you’re in the same town or in another state, take advantage of the resources available to your loved one. Find out about meal delivery, senior transportation and home health care agencies. Not only can these organizations help with the tasks your parents can no longer do on their own, they enable someone to check in regularly and make sure they are doing well.
Learn Important Information
Your parents have always taken care of themselves, along with the rest of the family. You’ve respected their privacy when it came to financial or medical issues. However, now you must be in control if you feel your parents can no longer manage certain aspects of their lives.
It’s important that you have copies of their Social Security cards, driver’s licenses, marriage certificate, credit cards, health insurance cards and other important documents. When questions arise, you’ll be able to take charge and handle issues. Ask your parents about any bank accounts and other assets so you know what they have when the information is needed.
This one is important because loneliness and isolation from loved ones is one of seniors' top fears. Get in the habit of calling your parent or connecting with them online before it becomes vital to their health. Many seniors today are adept at social media and Skype, so you can contact them in a casual way just to check up on them without causing them to become defensive.
If there are multiple children or other close friends, you can enlist their help in checking in on your parent. Anytime someone becomes concerned, they can contact another family member for a second opinion. Here are some more communication tips for talking to elderly parents.
Checking in at an Assisted Living Facility
Even when your loved one has moved into an assisted living facility or skilled nursing center, you’ll want to make sure they are being cared for. Before a decision is made about a particular facility, you should find out how best to check in with the medical staff. With a facility like Village Green, we encourage family members to be involved in their loved one’s care, and we are happy to answer questions and address any concerns.
While these facilities can take the burden off family members for the care of an elderly loved one, it’s important that you stay involved and check in often to see how your parent fares. First-class facilities will encourage this participation, knowing that having caring family members will improve the resident’s quality of life.