The concept of aging in place refers to a senior living out their final years in their own home. The good news in this day and age is that as your parent’s child and possible caretaker, there are a number of options that can make aging in place possible. Unfortunately, at the same time, there are situations in which this desire cannot be met. One of the most important things to remember in this situation is that it is not your fault. Aging in place can sometimes put a tremendous demand on time, energy, and other resources. Even the best of intentions can only provide those things up to a point.
If you find yourself in the position of having to think about parent transitioning, we can help. While we can’t cover every possible base here, we can offer some suggestions to get things moving in the right direction. This can include the benefits of deciding sooner, rather than later, how to address the transition from one day to the next, and the advantages of products designed to make this transition less stressful (senior cellphones and smartphones are a good example).
Why The Decision Should Be Made ASAP
One of the most essential tips we can provide you with concerns about the matter of time. As your parent or parents get older, the demands and challenges of transitioning to a care facility can increase. This is in turn can amp up the anxiety and stress that many people find difficult, or even impossible, to separate from the work involved. This is understandable, but time remains of the essence.
The sooner you address the care needs of your parent or parents, the better everyone is ultimately going to feel. Making a plan now allows everyone, especially the senior you’re seeking care for, to enjoy life to the fullest. Starting now allows for a more gradual transition. This benefit alone should emphasize the importance of getting things going in the present. We have put together some parent transitioning tips to move everyone’s needs in the right direction.
How To Prepare For A Nursing Home Move
There are so many elements to juggle in not only choosing the right nursing home, but in terms of making the adjustment as painless as possible. The first conversation about all of this alone can prove to be taxing for everyone. From managing your own feelings of guilt, to making sure your parent has as much freedom and say as possible, there is a lot to be done.
Here are some tips to help make it easier for everyone involved:
- Start by planning for an emergency: This is a good way to start the conversation. Working together, you and your parent are not planning for a definitive time and place in which the transition to a facility will be made. What happens here is simply planning what will be done in the event of a serious injury, stroke, or other situation. With an unexpected health crisis, the need for facility or some other type of senior care may suddenly change to something imperative. When this happens, everyone will be ready. If this conversation goes well, you can shift things to more long-term, definitive plans.
- Don’t deny your emotions: This is a simple tip. Understand that this subject will almost always come with a wide range of complex emotions. Take measures to deal with those emotions in the manner that suits you best.
- Research together: It may not be possible to give your parent everything they want. This can be difficult to accept. However, you can offset a lot by making them as much a part of the conversation as possible. Research and visit homes together. Discuss with your parent what they will want and need. Again, it may not be possible to address everything to their satisfaction, but you will probably accomplish more in this area, than if you were to do everything on your own.
- Try to create an “at-home” feeling: As often as possible, you must do your best to make sure your parent doesn’t feel powerless. Our above tip can help with that. Discussing options and ideas to make the new space as close to home as possible can go a long way towards helping with anxiety and/or depression.
- Give them time to adjust: You should absolutely encourage your parent to socialize once they have moved in. This can include taking part in activities, but it can also be as simple as telling them to take their meals in the dining area. At the same time, they may need time to adjust, and get to a place where they feel comfortable enough to reach out. Keep communication going during this period, and look for non-verbal clues that may suggest sadness or anger.
- Visit as much as possible, but keep technology in mind: Frequent visits are ideal, but not always possible. To that end, remember you have options like video chatting, text messages, and more. There are more traditional ideas like letters, phone calls, and postcards. Discuss these options with your parent. If they are interested in video chats and texts, consider getting them a senior-specific smartphone or cellphone to help them explore these possibilities further.
Managing Senior Care For Your Loved One
The first day of moving into a senior care facility can be difficult for everyone. You will likely be very busy indeed with making sure everything is being taken care of. To the point where you may not know what to do with yourself, once the dust has finally settled. Many children who later became caregivers have noted that the first few nights without the routine can be difficult.
With that in mind, at some point in this flurry of planning, more planning, and relentless physical and emotional labor, make a plan for yourself. Think about the things you would like to do with the free time you may now have. It can be a nice opportunity to catch up on books, your favorite Netflix show, or anything else you may have in mind.