If you are reading this, you probably have an elderly parent whose health is declining. It is no secret that as your mom or dad grows older, their health will begin to decline. They may become unable to be as independent as they previously had been. Though they may not want help from others, getting help might be important to their health. It is important to work with your loved one to create a care plan that you agree on. This can ensure that they get the care and love that they need. Addressing this can be a difficult and emotional process. Be sure to have a support system ready and available for both yourself and your loved one.
Your Parent’s Opinion
As you bring up the topic of aging with your loved one, it is necessary to listen to them and their concerns. This will give you a better idea of how to best assist them. Though you may not agree with their choices, you must respect them or work with them to make a compromise. You should focus the conversation on them and their plans. Asking if they have made any potential future plans is key. Perhaps they have put thought into their future plans. They might want to live with a relative or move into an assisted living facility. Or they might want to hire an aid or move into a nursing home. If they have made their choice, then it must be honored and respected to the best of your ability.
After you determine your parent’s wishes, gather some important information. This can be used in case of an emergency. Some things you may want to gather are:
- Social security number.
- Medicare number.
- Medicaid number.
- Veterans administration claim number.
- List of insurance plans.
- List of doctors and their telephone numbers.
- Medical history.
- Medications and their diagnoses.
- Financial information.
- Legal papers (such as a Will).
- List of medical devices (such as a pace maker).
- Driver’s license number.
- Birth certificate.
Choosing a Plan
When helping them choose a care plan, remind your parent to consider their health. Consider their health on levels such as mental, physical and social. If they are battling any mental issues such as anxiety or depression, it can affect their care. Also, if their physical heath is deteriorating, they will need more help. If they are a social person by nature, find somewhere that they can interact with other people. These are factors that should be considered when deciding their care plan.
In addition to choosing type of care, it is important to research facilities and aides. This can ensure that your loved one will be in a safe, loving and stable environment.
- Their reputation (online reviews or talking to friends who have used them).
- If they are licensed by the state.
- How much experience the staff members have.
- What types of conditions the aid will be willing to work with.
- If the aid will supply wound and dressing care.
- What types of medical services the facility will provide.
- What types of social interactions the resident will have.
- Will the community have doctors on call?
- Will the community have nurses available to the elderly?
- Does the community supply transportation for the health services of the elderly if they do not have the medical resources available?
- Online reviews of the facility and caretakers.
- Asking friends or loved ones who may have moved in.
- Visiting the facility and talking to residents.
- Looking for any signs of neglect or abuse on residents.
- Watching how staff interacts with the resident.
- Consider watching how the residents interact with one another.
- Researching any filed cases of neglect or abuse against the nursing home.
If your loved one is elderly and you or they suspect their health will soon be declining, it is important to talk to them about any concerns they may have. Helping them to work through these concerns while taking their emotional, financial, physical and social needs into consideration will help you both to determine the best possible care plan for them.