This is a guest post by Madison Harte.
No one wants to leave their home to go to an assisted living home instead, however pleasant, especially because they know they may never return to their own home again. If you need to make the decision on whether or not to put your senior parent in an assisted living home, here are some tips.
Arrange for a Geriatric Assessment
A geriatric assessment is done by a third-party to help determine the level of care your senior parent might need. Talk to your parent about getting one. Look for geriatric specialists in your area, or ask your parent’s doctor for a referral. Their doctor may be able to perform an evaluation, too. They will evaluate things like balance, memory, upper-body strength, etc. and give an impartial opinion on whether an assisted living home would be recommended.
Talk to Your Parent
Unfortunately, many times people resist going into an assisted living home for as long as possible, even when they really need the care. Ultimately, it should be your decision whether or not your parent needs 24/7 care. You should still talk to your parent about their feelings first, however. What is their stance on going? What are their biggest concerns? It’s good to know your parent’s take on things, as well as what’s most important to them. Perhaps they’d prefer to live in a home that allows them to have a pet, for example. If they are determined to remain at home and doing so might be an option for a little longer, talk about what could be done to make it safer.
Talk to Your Siblings
If you have siblings – or other close family members – you should get everyone together to talk about the decision that’s to be made. In many cases, siblings don’t agree, and it can create a lot of tension in the family as everyone tries to come to a decision or compromise. If you and your siblings cannot agree, it’s even more important to have the opinion of a third-party. In these cases, sometimes it’s best to agree to go with whatever the doctor recommends.
Do Your Own Assessment
Your opinion of your parent’s condition is also incredibly important. Oftentimes, it’s good for a parent to go into a home when they are incontinent, are suffering from memory loss, or require constant care. If they’re unable to perform normal things like making meals, getting dressed, or taking a shower on their own, this can add to the urgency of an assisted living home. If your parent can still do a lot, they might benefit from part-time in-home nursing care instead for now.
Reach Out to the Community
If you really want your parent to stay at home longer, reach out to the community for resources that could help you. For example, there may be nonprofit or paid organizations that can offer assistance with things like making doctor appointments, getting to appointments, getting meals brought to the home, and checking in on your parent from time-to-time. Perhaps a religious organization or other club your parent is a part of could organize to offer a little extra help, too.
Author Bio: Madison Harte is a professional nurse and expert on seniors and their health who often gives advice on caring for the elderly in her blog.
Image Credit: courtesy of morguefile.com