Unfortunately, for most families, this decision is made on the fly, only after a catastrophic event, such as an injury or illness.
Ideally your family will start discussions about eldercare at home while Mom or Dad is still well.
The best place to start is to ask him or her what their ideal situation is as well as what their preferences are for a Plan B and even Plan C.
Asking for their input may make it easier for you to help them live life with dignity and respect.
Having a conversation with them will also help them realize that you have their well-being in mind.
Here's your checklist for making decisions regarding caring for aging parent strategies.
- Is your family emotionally able to handle caring for an aging parent? For example, consider whether your marriage is already on rocks or if you have a teenager who struggles with a drug problem.
- Are you prepared for the constant care that may be required? For example, will you be willing to take the responsibility of taking Dad with you on every vacation or weekend outing?
- Will your children be emotionally mature enough to watch their Grandma's physical and, perhaps, mental decline?
- Will personalities mesh-or will eldercare at home require you to spend every waking hour referring blow-ups between your son and his Grandma?
- Which friends and family can you rely on to help you out in a pinch? For instance, can your Aunt drive Mom to her doctor's appointment so you can attend your daughter's soccer game? Financial Considerations
- Can you afford to start caring for an aging parent at home?
- If you and your spouse work, will you be able to afford eldercare at home that a home health giver might provide while you're away?
- Are you willing to lose time (and part of a paycheck) to stay at home with Dad when he catches a cold? Physical Considerations
- Is your home big enough to handle eldercare at home?
- If not, what accommodations will you need to make? Will your teenage son need to relinquish his game room?
- Is the house senior-friendly? For example, is it wheelchair accessible? Does it have an elder-safe shower or bathtub?
- Can your family meet the physical demands of 24/7 care? Who will help Dad take a shower? Who will lift Mom from her bed to the wheelchair each morning?
- Are you comfortable with providing personal care, such as bathing a parent or helping him or her use the toilet?
Start asking the questions that will help your family find the kind of caring for aging parent strategy you can live with.