Some seniors age at home without much help. Others need help after a chronic illness is diagnosed or an injury occurs. Planning in advance for elder care is important. That’s what November’s National Long-Term Care Awareness Month is all about.
Things May Never Change or They May Change in a Hurry.
You see your mom and dad as strong, independent people. They don’t need help. They are aging at home beautifully. There is always that “what if?” situation.
No one wants to think about worsening health. It can happen, and you won’t always have noticed. If your mom’s occasional forgetfulness worsens and she is diagnosed as Alzheimer’s, what do you do? If your dad falls and breaks his hip, can he still get around the house without help?
Make sure you’ve discussed what happens in these situations. See how your parents would want to continue. Would they want to stay in the same house or does a one-level house sound better? Would they want you to have to provide their care, or would they prefer an elder care professional helps out?
What Happens if Health Changes?
Some common health conditions don’t appear until retirement years. The average age of diagnosis for the early stages of Alzheimer’s is 65. The risk of developing Alzheimer’s doubles every five years after that. By the time you’re 85, the risk of having the disease is 33 percent per the Alzheimer’s Association.
About 6 out of 10 people over the age of 65 have one chronic health condition. These conditions can include arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Many of these chronic conditions are easier to manage when home care services are available.
Hearing loss can affect daily activities. It’s estimated that 50 percent of all seniors have hearing loss by the age of 85. Vision loss is also common. Both can affect the ability to drive a car safely.
Questions to Ask.
The entire family needs to sit down and discuss long-term elder care plans. Would someone want to be the family caregiver to aging parents? Would cutting back work hours or stopping work completely be financially feasible? Is there money to pay a family caregiver for the hours he or she puts in?
You should also see what your parents want. If it reached a point where they needed help using the toilet, would they want you or your siblings helping? Where do they draw the line on what care can be handled by one of their children or grandchildren?
Take time this November to discuss and plan long-term elder care needs. Even if your parents are fine now, you never know what the future holds.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Modesto, CA, contact the caring staff at Provident Home Care. Call today (877) 572-3411.
Robin Conley RN., Owner and CEO of Provident Care Home Care Providing HOME CARE- ASSISTED LIVING PLACEMENT ASSISTANCE
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