When deciding whether to Age in Place or move out of your home, feelings can often be hurt. Maybe a parent isn’t ready to let go of the house that she has lived in for decades. Maybe one child doesn’t want to help pay for senior care, or another doesn’t want dad to come live with him. Whatever the case may be, coming up with a compromise can be an arduous give and take. For this post, Staying Put at Home considers how we can best deliberate on Aging in Place and senior care.
Just like with most activities, a little preparation beforehand can go a long way when it comes to figuring out a senior’s home and health care plans. Make it clear exactly what everyone’s responsibilities and expectations are. Establishing these roles before there is a problem will not only provide peace of mind, it will also make it easier for someone to get ready for a potentially demanding or expensive caregiver duty. A family planning meeting can also present a good opportunity to learn about the myriad costs of senior care and Aging in Place. Staying Put at Home has gone over the relative costs of these options, and even more options exist for more specialized care.
As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Crises and emergencies are almost always exacerbated when no preparation is made. AARP has a great guide for topics to discuss when discussing senior care options. A family planning meeting can also be one of the best decisions you make when it comes to senior finances. Should you have the opportunity, also try to discuss wills, trusts and durable powers of attorney.
…And Be Prepared to Make Changes
As another old saying goes, the best laid plans of mice and men go oft awry. Circumstances change, and what might have sounded like good plan two or three years ago might not be feasible today. However, this doesn’t mean that making preparations is arbitrary. A plan is still a great step, just remember that they aren’t necessarily ironclad.
Flexibility and accommodation might be difficult, but they are sometimes necessary when deciding the housing and care options for you or your senior loved one.
Get Help When You Need It
It is exhausting to make decisions regarding senior care. Good intentions might be lost in communication, or not everyone will see eye to eye. In cases like these, where it seems like there is no way forward, enlisting a professional geriatric care manager makes sense. This advisor will be able to outline your options and guide you toward the choice that makes the most sense. Their area of expertise can help clear up any misconceptions. For example, they’ll tell you that most long-term care is not covered by Medicare. Consulting with these trained specialists might save you a lot of headaches and heart breaks. Plus, consulting a care manager might help you save money in the long run.
What to Do When Everyone Lives in a Different Town
Children grow up and move to different towns and cities. When a parent eventually needs to decide on his or her senior care options, it can be strenuous to find out which responsibility each child will need to take on, especially if some aren’t nearby. We can’t reiterate enough the importance of having a family planning meeting, as these help the kids get on the same page. For example, if one child lives across the country, then they can still assist with caregiving by helping to fund a parent’s senior services. Having everyone in agreement before senior care is needed can help avoid any messy discord.
Be Honest and Realistic
At this critical juncture, clear and truthful communication is crucial. Make sure that everyone knows each other’s responsibilities and expectations. It is easy for people to overestimate how much time, money and energy they can provide, so giving a truthful, reasonable assessment for the amount of care that you can offer will help out down the line. Even a slight misunderstanding or miscommunication can have a resounding impact on both the caregiver and the person receiving assistance. Do your best to be upfront and realistic about your role when discussing caregiving.
We hope this advice has helped you consider how to broach senior care with your family. If you have any suggestions about caregiving conversations, then please share with the Staying Put at Home community in the comment section.