A Child’s Perspective Parents are always there. They pay for college, food, clothes. And they always know just what to say. So it is only fair for their children to provide amazing care for them after they no longer can for themselves. The 15-year old daughter dreams of being able to pay for her parents to stay in a really nice independent living home, even if it is a little pricy. The teenage daughter plans to be a surgeon, so cost is not a problem. She plans to treat her parents to a wonderful place to stay whether it is memory care center or an independent living location. They deserve the best.
A Grandchild’s Perspective The young mother remembers going to a small town about once a month when she was little. Her most favorite part was getting to see her great grandmother, who was affectionately called GG. She remembers more about the times when her GG lived in the local nursing home. these memories are more vivid than earlier times when she was able to visit GG in her own house.
Even though she is a mother herself now, she remembers going into the nursing home and immediately go see GG, who would be ready with hugs and great conversations. Most days they would go out to the commons and she and her sister would play piano for the residents. It was so much fun seeing the smile on GG’s face. The girls would play duets and solos and enjoy the company of their great grandmother. Some days they would play bingo and somedays they would paint nails. But more importantly, was the memory of the care GG received in this small town nursing home. Such good care, in fact, that when GG went to the hospital we actually saw an decrease in her care. Whether it was watching the birds in their habitat or blowing out the candles on GG’s birthday cake, they always spent a lot of time smiling when visiting their great grandmother at the nursing home.
The Reality Senior care can be complicated. While family members may have the best intentions, it often takes careful research and substantial funding to provide the best healthcare services that will empower residents to live the lives they want to live once they have to leave the comfort of their homes.
How to Decide on the Best Senior Care Options for Aging Parents
The secret to almost all elder care decisions is to start planning early. In addition, to making financial plans for in home care or residential care, it is especially important to start open the lines of communication long before decisions have to be made. Consider, for example, addressing the following topics with your parents:
- Do you have a will made?
- Do you have a DNR on file?
- If possible, would you prefer to live in your own home with a caregiver rather than move into assisted living?
- If possible, do you want to live in an assisted living location close to your home or close to your children?
- Do you have any specific preferences about the kind of care that you want to receive?
- Will you want to take your own furniture or other special items if you have to live in a location other than your home?
Unfortunately, more than 90% of Americans older than 65 have not talked about critical long-term care issues with their spouse or partner, their aging parents, or their adult children. And while many of these conversations are not easy to have, they are important. Sometimes talking about senior care topics in bits and pieces can result in a more comfortable approach to a difficult conversation. For example, talking about pieces of furniture that have special meaning can help create a transition to talking about more serious topics.
Additionally, taking the opportunity to visit about different senior care options in reference to other family members or friends can also seem like a less stressful way to talk about difficult topics. While some families have a specific meeting to make decisions about parents and what are the best plans for the future, the majority of families will likely gather their information from several smaller less formal conversations.