These days, people are living longer and longer— which can be both a good thing and a bad thing. It’s good that life expectancy is increasing, but the downside to that is that even though people are living longer, their bodies are still slowing down.
This brings to mind the question: What about my aging parent(s)? The biggest concern that many adults today have for their aging parents is where they will live. Should they continue to stay in their own home, or should assisted living to be considered?
Only about 6.5% of older adults live in some type of assisted living facility, including nursing homes. Other examples of assisted living include retirement homes and communities, where assistance and medical care can be accessed, though it’s not 24/7 like in nursing homes.
In-home caregiving isn’t an assisted living facility, but it is assisted care in your parent’s home. These types of caregivers typically come at a certain time of the day (mornings, evenings, etc.) to help your parent with certain ADLs (activities of daily living) and even with medications.
Nursing homes aren’t usually the first place that people want to put their parents— and they shouldn’t unless their parent needs round-the-clock medical care. Nursing homes are reserved for those with serious medical conditions, such as dementia and other health conditions. Unfortunately, nursing homes have gotten a bad rep for abuse, neglect, and even medication errors when it comes to their patients. If a nursing home is the only option for your aging parent, make sure to look into the quality of care the nursing home provides.
The majority of older adults live in their own homes and prefer it this way. However, it’s important to make sure that your parent is both safe and comfortable in this living arrangement. It may be necessary to make certain renovations to ensure their safety and comfort. Some of these renovations include:
- Changing outdoor knobs and faucets to lever-style knobs and taps
- Switching out the bathtub for a walk-in tub/shower
- Updating the flooring to something less hard
Research shows that older adults remaining in their own homes (also known as aging in place) have a better quality of life. However, if it’s just one of your parents living alone, it can be lonely— and even a little more dangerous.
Adult Day Programs
Even if your aging parent is able to remain in their own home safely, it can still be worrying. This is where an adult day program can give you peace of mind. Programs like these can give your parent the socialization that many senior citizens need as they age, as well as provide them with other types of support and services such as:
- Blood pressure monitoring
- Counseling and support groups
- Transportation to and from the center
Unfortunately, health insurance programs such as Medicare don’t cover the costs of adult day programs, but there may be other ways of finding financial assistance. However, the average daily rate is less than $75.
Living with Family
Many adults choose to move their aging parent in with them— especially if they have only one living parent. This gives the ultimate peace of mind, as your parent is right under your nose. However, if you have your own family, the entire family dynamic can be changed, meaning that everyone in the house has to make a few adjustments. You may even have to have some renovations done on your home to accommodate your parent.
Caring for an aging family member can be very tough and draining— which is why it’s important to make sure that you can take on this task before making the arrangements. Fortunately, respite care serves as a type of care for the elderly that gives their caregivers a break. This can be provided in-home or in an assisted living facility but lasts for no more than a month. Meals, medication management, activities, and other care and services are provided with respite care.
There are many living options available for your aging parent(s), but you’ll have to choose the one that will be most beneficial to their health and safety. If one or both of your aging parents has a serious medical condition that you can’t handle on your own, then a quality nursing home may be the answer. You should also talk with your parent(s) and get their input on this decision.
Biswajit Rakshit is a professional blogger and writer. He loves to write on various topics.