Too many families wait until a crisis arises to think about care for aging parents. Many adult children are busy caring for families of their own, as well as balancing their responsibilities at work. They aren’t thinking about aging care until an unfortunate incident such as a fall or medical emergency leaves their parents needing constant care. This can be an extremely difficult time for primary caregivers without a backup plan. Fortunately, there are supportive services that can make the transition into aging care a little bit easier.
In-home care is one solution that works for many families in this position. But it’s often very expensive and unreliable in the long-term. Adult-day programs are another option, offering activities and chances for socialization when the primary caregiver cannot be home to provide constant care.
However, if you really want to make sure that your parents are taken care of as they age, you really want to focus on long-term care that will support your loved one as their needs change over time. Long-term care planning is an essential piece of the aging puzzle for all of us as we grow older, and you want to ensure that planning happens before a crisis situation occurs.
Geriatric care managers can be a great ally to caregivers who are overwhelmed with the amount of aging options out there. Their job is to listen to your family’s needs and provide recommendations based on their experience as experts in the senior care field. Gerontologists are another group of individuals with extensive background knowledge and an unbiased opinion on what could be the best solution for your family. Primary care physicians may also prove helpful in your search for the right situation, and your aging parents may be more willing to listen to suggestions from someone they know and trust.
If your loved one is consider senior housing, but is not quite sure if it’s for them, you may want to consider trying out short-term stays in senior living communities. This will give your loved one the chance to decide what type of senior living option best suits their lifestyle. For example, many communities feature fitness and physical therapy programs, while others are more arts-focused, with gardening and music classes mixed into their activities schedule. A short-term stay is a wonderful way to try out communities without the obligation to sign on for other services. And who knows, maybe your parents will even meet new friends that get them excited about their transition into the golden years.
Jacqueline is the Content Manager at Seniorly.com, a website that provides free resources for senior and their caregivers. Their Resource Center is filled with articles on topics including retirement planning, caregiver support, and financial planning for senior living. We encourage you to visit us to learn more about aging options and get advice from top experts in the industry!
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