Archive for long term care

Helping Elderly Parents Transition to a Nursing Home

family visit at Grandma’s nursing homeAt some point, allowing your elderly parents to live alone in their own home will mean a safety or health risk, which means it’s time to move your elderly parents into a nursing home. This is one of the most difficult decisions for a senior. It’s imperative that friends and family understand that many elderly individuals feel a loss of independence during this process. There are things you can do to help your parents through this process and make even the most difficult transition a smooth process.

Moving is an Emotional Process for Elderly Parents

While you may be tempted to think of the move in terms of practicality, moving can be a very emotional process. Transitioning from a large house to one-room will require significant down-sizing. Your parents may insist on keeping items that they don’t need. For example, although the retirement home may not have a kitchen, your parent may want to keep their pots and pans. It is important to remember that members who lose their home may also feel like their losing some independence and ability to make decisions for themselves. By being sympathetic and allowing them to make their own decisions, you are allowing them to maintain a sense of ownership and independence.

How to Talk to your Parent

Timing is key when approaching your elderly parent about moving into a nursing home. On certain days, they may feel like living in their home is a luxury, and on others the strain and difficulty will show. It’s best to talk to your parent about moving on a day when they express difficulty with the home. Is the gardener bill to high? Are they having difficulty with their health? By waiting to speak with your parent when they face a difficulty with the home, they will be more likely to see your point of view.

Finding a Home

Make preliminary visits and do some research on the best homes in the area before taking your parent on a search. Encourage your parent to make a list of questions and address their concerns. Never belittle or brush-off your parents’ concerns about where they live. Encourage them to take ownership of the process. Once you’ve settled on a home, be sure to visit at least one additional time with your parent before moving day. Find out if the home has moving and storage options to make the move easier.

Moving Process and Planning

The moving process and planning can be quite difficult for your parents. Realize from the beginning that they will not be able to take all of their belongings. Seek out moving and storage options, and perhaps a moving company that has experience moving the elderly to nursing homes. Invite friends and family on moving day for emotional support. Most importantly, give yourself extra time and keep the pace slow. Though the move may be possible in one day, consider giving it two. Rushing through what is a very emotional process for your parent will make the day even more difficult.

Finding Support

If necessary, be willing to take your parents to the moving and storage facility to gather additional items. Maintain a frequent visiting schedule, at least in the beginning, to help your parent feel at home. Encourage family and friends to visit often until parents feel comfortable in their new surroundings.

Though every move can be stressful, early planning and preparation will drastically reduce stress for all involved. Remember to be patient with yourself and your parents during the process. Taking care to purposefully plan every stage of the process from the talk to moving and storage will ensure a pleasant transition for your parents.

Paul Benjamin works for EZ Storage, a company specializing in secure and clean storage rental since 1971.

Image by Jeremy Bronson and licensed through Creative Commons.

Talking to Your Parents about Their Housing Needs

Last month, we shared some tips for talking to your parents when you can see they need help with their activities of daily living.

Although most seniors would ideally like to stay in their own home (sometimes referred to as “aging in place”), sometimes in-home care just isn’t enough.

Today, we hear first hand from someone who went through this with his own mother, in this video from the Family Caregivers’ Network in BC.

Does his situation sound similar to yours? Feel free to share your story in the Comments section below.

If you’d prefer to discuss it privately, we invite you and your parents to take our free questionnaire. We’ll help you evaluate your situation and prepare for the next phase in your lives.

5 Key Questions To Ask When Looking At Assisted Living Facilities

nurse with elderly woman in assisted living facilityMaking the decision to move a loved one into an assisted living facility can be very difficult. There is a lot to consider when finding the right home. You want your loved one to have the care they need but also get the independence they want. Here are several questions to take into consideration that will help you find the appropriate assisted living facility for your senior loved one.

How much will it cost?

Assisted living can be a big investment, it’s important to research your options. There isn’t a standard in how much assisted living will cost. Usually there are many payment options, plus the amount of care your elder needs can play into the overall cost. Price also can vary as to if your senior lives alone or has a roommate.

How many residents live at the center?

When it comes to the size of the living center it varies, some facilities have as few as 10 apartments to many that are huge complexes with over 400 apartments. It’s like choosing to live in a small town or a big city. If a senior enjoys an intimate atmosphere than a smaller facility may be best, or if they are used to a lot of people than the larger facility may be the way to go.

Is there availability?

Obviously, a very important question, if there isn’t availability than you may be put on a wait list. If this is the case always ask how long the wait is and continue looking at other options.

What is the aid to resident ratio?

The reason you’re choosing assisted living is care. It’s important to take the aid to resident ratio into consideration. You want to make sure that no matter the amount of care and assistance is needed, it’s important they are getting the appropriate care.

Does the facility offer specialized care services?

If your family member suffers from a disease that requires special care such as Alzheimer’s disease, you need to make sure that the facility has the appropriately trained staff so that your loved one gets the absolute best care possible.

Deciding the future of a loved one is a major decision and there are many questions that need to be asked. With the five questions above you’ll be able to get a better feel for the type of facility your loved one will feel comfortable in, the cost of it and the care that your loved one will receive.

Post provided by Lifestyle and Family writer Bruce Zander on behalf of The Meadows in Castle Rock, CO.