One of the few certainties in life is that we all age as time progresses. And though this is hardly an afterthought until you finally reach middle age and start plucking away those grays, life after retirement is something that should be planned for.
Our loved ones are those responsible for raising us. And while we all have much to thank them for, there does come a time when they may need our help in making some serious decisions. After all, you never know what hand life will deal with in your later years. But you can also be prepared.
When our loved ones reach retirement age, there’s a lot to consider. And a few things you might need to talk about involve the long-term care and comfort of your aging loved ones.
Here, we’ll discuss a few things you and your elderly loved one should consider if they’re in need of assistance.
Aging in Place
Most senior citizens prefer to live on their own for as long as they can without any assistance. But aging in place also comes with a few considerations that concern safety and comfort as well.
For example, it’s not exactly practical for an aging relative to live on their own if they don’t have a support network to rely on. Because over time, walking or driving may become difficult. And if this occurs, they’re going to need the assistance of some sort to get around.
Aging in place also required taking safety precautions within the home. And this could include anything from moderate renovations to remodels, often by adding ramps, railings, and the like.
If your loved one is wanting to age in place, you should first ensure that they have a reliable support network of people that they can call just in case of an emergency, and that they are comfortable and safe in their own home.
Staying with Family
When aging in place isn’t an option, the next most preferred solution is to stay with family. But if your loved one has complicated medical issues such as any form of dementia, this could make living with family quite complicated.
You’ll also need to ensure that your loved one receives adequate medical attention when necessary. And though medicare is often available to seniors, sometimes this doesn’t cover all medical expenses. As such, you may consider adding your loved one to your health insurance policy. However, you’ll likely have to prove that your relative isn’t working and doesn’t file a W2 with the IRS.
If you’re considering having your aging relative stay with you, it’s also recommended that you discuss this decision with other family members as well. For example, your spouse may have reservations about this, and believe it or not, but when your parents or loved ones are placed in in-home living situations, this has often disrupted relationships.
Along this same line, your children may also have to adjust to the situation as well. But beyond this, your primary concern is that you can adequately care for your loved one at your home moving forward.
Usually reserved as a last resort, nursing homes are also an option. But the type of care at nursing homes can vary considerably. And any nursing home you choose should be properly vetted to ensure that they can provide adequate care. Because the truth is, sometimes nursing homes are often scrutinized for subpar care.
Nursing facilities do take care of your loved one 24/7. And these facilities also typically have activities for seniors to enjoy on-site. But again, this depends on the resources that the nursing facility offers.
Some activities that nursing homes offer are:
- Community areas
- Movie nights
- Open grounds for walking
- Weekly trips
- Daily visitation hours
- Physical therapy
- Mental health therapy
Placing your loved one in a nursing home can be a difficult decision. But above all, you should ensure that everyone within your immediate family is content with this decision, especially your loved one. Because going from being independent, living on your own your whole life, and being able to care for yourself to a confining facility can be a difficult adjustment for anyone.
Watching your loved one age and lose the ability to care for him or herself can be a heart-wrenching experience. But with a little guidance and by taking the time to make the best decision possible, you’ll be able to ensure that your loved one is placed in the right situation to receive the best care.