You’ve noticed that Mom is getting a bit forgetful, or that Dad isn’t quite as energetic, so you’ve started wondering if it’s time to investigate elderly care. Gathering information early, while your parents are still in relatively good health is a great idea. If you wait until there’s a crisis, you may be forced to make decisions quickly which could lead to choosing the wrong facility or arrangement.
To help you decide on the best elderly care for your parents, here are some easy steps to take to get you started on the right path.
Assess—Forgetfulness is one thing, dementia is another. Stepping back and assessing where your parents are in their lives is a good place to start. Are they able to take care of themselves? Do they need help with medications? Can they make their own meals? Answers to questions like these can help guide you to the right living arrangements or facility that can help your parents with certain needs. Medical doctors, friends and neighbors are also good people to talk to as you go through the assessment phase.
Ask—All the experts agree that it’s important for adult children to ask their parents what they are looking for in terms of living arrangements. Some parents might have specific needs and prefer a Continuing Care facility while others want an independent living arrangement as long as possible. Talking to your parents and sharing information with siblings is the best way to make a plan that suits everyone.
Evaluate—Next up is visiting different communities. Even if your parents are set on one type of arrangement, it’s best to look at all your options now. That way, if circumstances change, you’ll know what’s available in your local area, what services are offered and how much of an investment you’ll have to make. And make sure to check out the atmosphere, food and staff attitudes as well as amenities and health services. Be sure that you include your parents and siblings in as many visits as you can.
Following these three steps can give you a solid foundation in your search for the right elderly care for your parents. Be sure to take time to review other information you might find on the Internet, through friends and local elderly care professionals.