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Aging in place isn’t always right for those who are advanced in years.
As discussed here previously on SimpleStepsForLivingLife, there are reasons why another option might be chosen. Especially when your parents suffer from debilitating ill health or when safety is an issue, a move into a care facility could sometimes be the better option.
However, there are also reasons why aging in place could be right for your parents. When in doubt, always speak with a medical professional to weigh options. Below are a few of these reasons here, so if you’re currently wondering whether staying at home is right for them, consider the following thoughts.
#1: Your parents might want to stay at home
If your parents want to stay put, it is important to take their feelings into consideration. See the photo above? That’s the view from my parents’ house. Who wouldn’t want to keep living there as long as possible? Quite often, people want to stay home because of the familiarity of their surroundings, and they want to live independently too. If you have family members that have dementia, moving to a new home can cause the dementia to increase known as Transfer Trauma. The prospect of having to live in a care home isn’t pleasurable for some and neither is the prospect of moving in with their children. Of course, if it is impossible for your parents to live at home, you will need to take the appropriate actions. But if it is still possible, and your parents aren’t ready to move, don’t be too quick to move them out of their home as long it is still a safe place for them to be.
#2: Home care options are available
The health of your parents is paramount, and you will understandably want the best care for them. While a move into a care facility is a good idea for those people who are too unwell to cope alone, it is sometimes the case that home care can suffice. With services akin to Freedomcare, you could do the caring yourself. You can even get paid for it! But if this isn’t possible, either because of your lifestyle or because your parents need care that you aren’t qualified to offer, Freedomcare or another agency can still support their needs. Explore the homecare options in your area and consider the possibility.
#3: Safety concerns can be addressed
If your parents aren’t as mobile as they used to, is it possible to moderate their existing home without having to move them elsewhere? A stairlift could be installed to help them get up and down stairs, for example, and handrails can be installed around the property. Walking aids will also come in useful, and you could encourage them to wear a medical aid to alert you to any falls.
Of course, falling isn’t the only safety issue you will need to address. There are other things you will need to consider. An example would be daily or weekly medications, for example. If your parents can’t see as well they used to, they might take the wrong pills. One way to addressed this is you can ask their pharmacist to label each medication clearly, or color code them for your parents. You can also check smoke and carbon monoxide alarms regularly as a further safety measure. And you could add cameras around the house with their permission, not to spy on your parents, but to make sure they haven’t fallen, things aren’t left cooking on the stove too long, they aren’t being scammed or hurt by any outside strangers.
Above are just some concerns to consider depending on your parents physical, emotional, and mental capacities. It’s not easy to gage competency and is also hard to do because, well, they are your parents. You want the best for them, and although you are their child, at some point in aging, the roles in life are reversed. One of the hardest parts of figuring out how to take care of aging parents is still being able to show them the respect the deserve while gradually taking over decision making as their health declines. The struggle for parents of letting go of control and trusting their children to make a good decision for them can be emotionally taxing for both parties. Be patient. Love and help your parents the best you can while still taking care of your own home and responsibilities.
Aging in place isn’t always the best option, but while it is still a possibility, it is worth considering. Especially if this is your parents preferred choice, you should help them stay at home when possible. Speak to their doctor if you need to and seek other professional support for help in making your decision.
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