An only child responsible for starting senior care planning for his failing mother living with dementia. David needs to find care for his mother. He also operates two businesses and is raising a family,
David, while having experience in the home care industry, still faces a difficult decision. He needs to choose between having his mother continue to live independently with home care or start the transition for his mother to live in a senior care facility.
Meet David’s Mother:
David’s mother, a fiercely independent 86-years-old, was diagnosed with dementia. While her health has been declining over the last 3 years, she remains living on her own in her home.
Despite her ability to live independently for all those years, David’s mother took a fall in her home. The fall then led to a broken hip, a long rehabilitation stay, and a stressful decision for David and his mother.
Becoming Aware of Senior Care Planning:
Consequently, the best course of action for David’s mother would involve senior care planning.
After David’s mother’s long stay at the rehabilitation facility, David and his mother agreed on her returning back to her home with the help of a daily caregiver.
Battling his emotions on whether or not he was making the correct decision for his mother, David also began to feel guilty for seeing his mother in a different way.
Seeing the Changes in Health:
At times, David’s mother faced many moments of extreme clarity. These moments led David to believe his mother was still very capable of living independently in her home. However, David’s mother also faced moments when her dementia diagnosis displayed the challenges of her mental health.
Yet, David’s mother was very accustomed to her independent life and ability to make her own decisions. Her mindset made it difficult for her to accept a caregiver to help her in her home. Despite her changing mental health, she still felt that she had complete control over the care of herself and her home environment.
In addition to David’s mother refusing assistance from her caregivers at home, David also began to see his mother make more poor choices as she continued to live independently with dementia. These poor decisions further affected many areas of her life including her finances, eating habits, and home environment.
Making a Decision:
David realized that his mother’s moments of what he thought were complete clarity were actually just a part of the dementia process. Admitting his mother was losing her independence was hard for David to grasp.
After David’s mother faced a handful of additional hospitalizations, David made the decision that would change his mother’s life.
As a result of David’s mother’s declining health, living at home was no longer the right option for David’s mother. Instead, David’s mother needed to be in an assisted living facility.
David now had to arrange the transition for his mother. He needed to find the right place for her to live and take on the responsibility of selling her home of 55 years.
MJ’s Advice for Senior Care Planning:
David’s situation forced him to make decisions without any planning to act as a guide. The lack of senior care planning caused more hardship and stress on an already stressful situation. David’s situation happens daily to families.
To help reduce the stress and emotional distress of similar situations, there are several steps that can be taken before declining health forces a decision to be made on the behalf of the senior in your care.
Have a conversation about the aging process.
Have an open discussion with the seniors in your life about the plan they have in place.Make sure to include all family members necessary.
Approach the conversation by easing into it casually rather than being confrontational. Have the senior’s best interest in mind. Usually, seniors want to ensure their safety, freedom, peace of mind, social connection, and their ability to make choices. Be respectful of their feelings and listen to their fears. Be open about their preferences.
If no plan exists, make one.
Talk about their preferences between living in home vs assisted living. Talk openly about each option. Determine what factors would cause an interruption in living at home (for example, not accepting assistance from outside services or financial hardships).
Make sure a list of medications and dosages exists in case of emergencies.
If living at home is the preference they want, plan home changes to make living easier including having an open floor plan, lever door handles, slip resistant floors, remote control blinds or windows, pull out and pull down shelving, or wheel care accessibility.
Talk about the average cost of home care and assisted living. Compare these costs with their finances. Ensure all their documentation is in order including their list of assets, numbers of bank and financial accounts, insurance policies, and titles and deeds to properties and vehicles.
Look into Medicare and Medicaid to determine what your parent qualifies for in terms of care assistance.
Meet with an elder care attorney.
To start the planning process, An attorney specialized in elder care can help before the seniors in your life start facing any health issues.
Have them choose a POA to act in their best interest in cases where they are unable to make decisions for themselves. Working with an elder care attorney will help facilitate this process.
A will or power of attorney should be kept in deposit box or the attorney’s office. Additionally, A copy should also be kept at home.
Create a plan with measurable goals.
For example, don’t allow your parents to think that you the child will be the caregiver, the companion, the errand, the housekeeper, you get the picture.
Keep a contact list.
The list should include telephone numbers of all important people they deal with- attorneys, accountants, doctors, lawyers, insurance agents, etc.
In the case that home care is best for the senior in your life, Caregogi can find the appropriate care provider for the senior in your life. Caregogi will match your senior’s needs with caregivers who are able to provide the necessary services. To get started finding the right match at an affordable cost, visit https://www.caregogi.com/