Aging at home is what the majority of older adults want, but their social, physical, and emotional needs must take priority. Don’t decide what’s best for your parents, encourage them to be active in the development of their plan for aging at home.
Create a Friendly, Honest Forum for Discussion
Gather close family members and friends whose opinions are respected by your parents. Hold a discussion on your parents’ health needs, ability to complete ADLs and IADLs, and wishes. If they do not feel threatened, they’ll be more willing to open up and share their goals for aging at home.
Ask Your Parents Open-Ended Questions
When you’re discussing their care needs, make sure you don’t ask yes or no questions. You need as much input as you can get. To do this, ask open-ended questions that require consideration and thorough responses.
For example, you know your dad struggles with mobility due to arthritis pain in his ankles. Instead of asking him if his arthritis makes it hard for him to walk around, ask him, “What would you enjoy doing every day if your arthritis disappeared tomorrow?” You get more information to help build his list of care needs.
Consider the Future
You want to build a care plan that meets your mom’s and dad’s current needs. You shouldn’t ignore the future. Consider the future care needs at the same time. By talking to them in advance, you know exactly what they’d want to happen. Build an advance directive to ensure their needs are laid out.
Suppose your mom has Alzheimer’s disease. She needs help cooking meals and cleaning the home now. Those are the services to arrange now, but what senior home care needs will she have in a few months? It’s likely she will need someone to keep track of appointments and drive her to them.
Family health histories can impact care needs. Your dad has high blood pressure, and his dad had heart disease. His mom had a stroke. He’s on medications and has it well managed though.
Considering his high blood pressure, he does have a higher risk of those health risks happening. Hopefully, you never have to arrange post-stroke care or care services after a heart attack, but you won’t have to try to research care services at a high-stress time.
You don’t need to arrange those services yet, but you should get information now for future planning. If you have a plan in place now, when the services are needed, you’re not in a panic rushing to find the information you need.
Discuss your parents’ care needs and work out a plan that suits their preferences without sacrificing care. Once you know the senior care services they need, call to arrange them. A senior care advisor can help you figure out the best schedule and understand prices during this call.