If you're reading this, you're probably feeling very stressed out. Mom or dad aren't doing well and it's obvious that you need to step in. Perhaps they’ve fallen lately, or maybe they’re not eating or drinking properly, maybe forgetting their medications; whatever the reason that is causing you pain, it's more than you can handle.
Don't Feel Guilty:
You're only human, you can't do the impossible. You've got your own family, and a job to support them, which requires 40 or more hours a week of your time. Adding another full-time job of elderly care just isn't in the cards. All of us feel like we should be doing more, even when we can't, and that leads to guilt. STOP IT! Here are some elderly care options you can explore to keep your folks as safe and healthy as possible
First, consider what setting would be best for them:
Most of us think we would prefer to stay home no matter what. But that is not always the best option. My own parents resisted bringing in a caregiver or going into a care facility for years. They suffered a great deal unnecessarily because of this. Neither of them would leave the house. They had no social activity unless I came over to visit. And neither one of them ate properly or took their medications as directed. The result was that emergency services were at their apartment on a regular basis, usually to transport them to the hospital.
We finally got conservatorship and could place them in a care facility. They were as mad as hornets for about a year, but they got better! Their health improved, they began to socialize regularly, they had staff to remind them to eat and take their meds, it really was a remarkable difference! They even forgave me after a while, and told me they realized it was the best thing for them. They lived about 10 more years with a much higher quality and length of life then they would have had on their own.
Staying at Home:
Hiring a caregiver to come in a for a few hours a day up to 24 hours a day is an option for those who just need a little help around the house, and someone to keep an eye on them. Finding the right caregiver takes some due diligence, but can be a long lasting and satisfying solution for elderly care. Since you have never done this and have no idea where to start, here's a handy guide to help you find the perfect in-home care companion. Costs for this option range from $15/hr. to $30/hr. depending on the quality of care you want, and the amount of work required.
Adult Day Care:
Yep, day care for adults is now a thing. The the way this works is you drop mom or dad off in the morning and pick them up later in the day. These organization are usually non-profit, staffed by volunteers who only do it because they love it. They play games, have activities and parties, go on outings, and are pro-active in keeping their visitors occupied. Costs vary between $50- $150 per day.
Retirement Communities, Assisted Living, and Board and Care homes:
For these options, you really need a pro to help you. There are hundreds of these in every community now, and the services they provide and prices range so greatly that you really need help in narrowing down your choices. I suggest you seek out the help of a Senior Care Referral services, like our friends at A Love for Seniors. They won't charge you for their help, and they will take you to visit multiple facilities until you find the one that is the perfect match for you and your parents.
Most of these options are private pay, as the government only steps in to assist with Medicare when a full nursing home is required. Most people won't choose this option voluntarily for obvious reasons. But if this is the option you choose, you can review the ratings of each Skilled Nursing Facility in your area through this Medicare website. Some Veterans can qualify for the Aide & Attendance Program. If your parents have life insurance, they can sell their policy for about 40% of its face value, and reverse mortgages have become much more attractive lately and are worth looking at.