Most people over 65 would like to “age in place,” meaning they don’t want to end up in a nursing home. They’d like to stay in the home they’re in now, thank you very much. The home that may hold memories of the past several decades.
Most adult children of parents in their sixties, seventies, eighties, and nineties understand why mom wants to age in place. This might be the home in which she raised her children, served her famous pot pie to the Ladies’ Auxiliary, and redecorated everything right down to the door knobs. But how do you ensure that your mother or father gets to stay where he or she is throughout the final years?
Planning is essential
In preparing to keep a parent at home, it’s wise to plan ahead, way ahead if possible. If her house is too big to keep up, encourage her to move into two or three rooms on the ground floor and help her move key items into those rooms.
If possible, create a fund for home care. Home care is often the deciding factor in keeping an elderly parent or grandparent out of a group home. If it is possible for your parents to set aside money for this purpose, ask them to do so.
Consider what health conditions your parents will need to compensate for. People with diabetes will have different needs, past seventy, from people with arthritis. Start modifications to mom’s house that will allow her to move around. This might mean raising sinks, installing a walk-in bathtub, grab bars, eliminating throw rugs, etc. A home care aid can quickly identify which modifications to a home will be most helpful.
Inventory your resources
Take an inventory of people who will help out. This list may start with you, your spouse, your siblings. But don’t rule out neighbors, club members, and church members who may also want to visit and do some light chores like grocery delivery, lawn care, etc.
Take an inventory of available resources. Most grocery stores now offer delivery services, many dry cleaners do the same. And it may be relatively easy to set up your parents with an Amazon or Etsy account.
Make sure your parent has direct deposit of all income, including social security, pension checks, stock dividends, etc.
Make sure your parent can identify mail and phone fraud or has someone nearby who can. Show her the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid logo and make sure she knows not to trust mail that claims to be from Medicare but doesn’t have that logo.
Understand the need to make changes slowly. Many very old parents are still sharp as a tack. And they do not have to accept changes they don’t want. It’s a good idea to go slow, get them in agreement to make a specific modification, then another over time. Many of our parents fought in wars, endured losses of loved ones, and pulled themselves up by the bootstraps. They won’t take kindly to being babied.
In conclusion, ninety percent of people over 65 have stated their intentions to stay right where they are. And they have every right to do so, even if you don’t agree that it’s the safest or most obvious choice. By planning ahead, you can help your mother or father realize his or her dream of aging in place, surrounded by the memories of a great life that he or she built.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering a Caregiver in Queens, NY please contact the caring staff at Prime Care, Inc. today. (212) 944-0244