As Mom and Dad age, the reality hits that they may need senior care. Determining what type of senior care they may require is often a good place to begin. Are they still somewhat independent, but just need help with cleaning and shopping or are they in need of more care? Areas to look at could be their physical health, any changes in hygiene, trouble with finances, trouble keeping track of medication, insurance, or bill paying. Are they able to keep up with their daily living activities such as cooking? Ask them if they are they getting enough to eat? How are they getting to the store and getting groceries home? Has it gotten harder to get around during inclement weather? These are simple tools that will help to facilitate important discussions concerning their senior care and safety.
If you aren´t sure just what type of care is available or needed, you may want to consult with a geriatric care manager. These support professionals offer adult children trying to find care for their elderly parents screen, hire and then oversee in home help for older adults. These senior care professionals are sometimes expensive, so families may also look to local Agencies on Aging for resources in their area as well.
Senior Care Services
The Internet offers many websites to explore care services. The Eldercare Locator is a free service provided by the U.S. Administration on Aging. Here you can find local senior care agencies throughout the United States by entering either your city, county or zip code into their database. I used my zip code and my County and State Department of Aging website´s came up immediately. At their site I was able to access a Service Directory, A Library, Assistive Devices, Links to other Local, State and National sites and Legislative Links. They also offer a special section that addresses senior care and caregiving issues.
If your loved one needs round the clock care, you can use Medicare´s new Nursing Home Compare tool to assist you in finding a good facility.
Perhaps it is just time to downsize to help them maintain their independence? No matter what the individual situation, it never hurts to put yourself in their shoes before proceeding. Growing old may have its challenges, but taking the steps to look at the situation through their eyes most often gives the caregiver a good vantage point and the ability to provide not only senior care, but a good dose of dignity as well.