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What To Do When An Aging Parent Needs Help

The parent-child relationship goes through many challenges, but one of the most challenging is aging. When an adult child starts to realize that the person who once raised them needs help, it’s a hard pill to swallow. An even more significant challenge is addressing these concerns with their parents and finding a resolution. Ultimately, you want to do what’s best for everyone, but making the right decision isn’t always easy. If you’ve found yourself in this position, these tips can make finding a solution easier. 

Assess Your Parent’s Needs

The first thing you want to do is assess your aging parent’s needs. Have you noticed that your mom is forgetting things or continuously slipping and falling? Maybe your father recently passed and your mother is living alone with a few friends and family around. Perhaps your father’s mismanaged diabetes is going to result in him needing surgery. Based on your observations, factors pointed out by others, and anything your parents may have told you, compile a list. This information will be necessary to help you determine how you can best assist them. 

Evaluate Your Circumstances

The natural course of action would be to have your aging parents move in with you or handle their issues on your own. As noble as this may sound, it may not be the wisest decision. Taking on responsibilities that you and your family aren’t equipped for can backfire. Now that you know what your parent’s needs are, evaluate your household’s circumstances to see if and what you can accommodate. 

For example, if you’re thinking about moving them in with you, do you have the extra space? If not, who would have to sacrifice to make room? If you’re going to take the responsibility of helping your parents with their daily tasks, you have to review your schedule to see if you can carry out these tasks without neglecting other obligations. Beyond yourself, think about your children and spouse. Do they have special needs? What is their relationship like with your parents? How will this impact their lives? More importantly, are you all physically and emotionally prepared to handle what comes with taking care of an elderly relative?

Explore Your Options

Now that you have more information about your elderly parent’s needs and your ability to accommodate them, you’re ready to weigh your options. Fortunately, adult children have several approaches to ensure their relatives are safe, healthy, and comfortable in their golden years. 

One option would be to allow them to age in place. If they have minimal health problems, you can essentially make adjustments to their home to make it a safer place to live. As an added precaution, you and other relatives can take turns checking in to ensure they’re alright. 

If you notice that your elderly relative has a hard time completing daily activities like getting dressed, grooming, cooking, cleaning, or driving, allowing them to age in place isn’t ideal. In this instance, you could hire a home health aide to assist them on a full or part-time basis. A simple search of Hampton home care agencies (or whatever locality you desire) can give you information on establishments offering quality care to seniors and their families. 

Another option would be to look for a nursing home or assisted living facility for your parents. They’d receive around-the-clock care and have a community of seniors to connect with. This option, however, can be expensive, so you’ll need to evaluate your finances. 

When mom or dad reach an age where they can no longer do for themselves, it’s hard on everyone. As this is a complicated subject-matter, adult children concerned about their aging loved ones should take a moment to evaluate everything in order to stay healthy and happy. With a clear understanding of their parent’s needs, how they can (or cannot) accommodate those needs, and a list of available options, you can then have a mature conversation with your parents to make the best decision. 

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