Has your family talked about your parents’ care plan goals? Do your parents plan to age where they are or would they want to downsize? Do they like the thought of having senior care aides helping them when they need it? Would they rather have family members and friends chipping in?
Families need to sit down and discuss their parents’ care plans. Your parents may not need help yet, but you should still have a care plan in mind. It will make it easier to arrange senior care when the time comes.
Hold a Family Meeting
Start by holding a family meeting. Your parents need to be there and give a lot of input. Make sure their wishes are heard and met as much as possible. Your siblings may have noticed things that you haven’t. Your parents say cleaning is easy, but your brother’s noticed dirty dishes in the cupboards. Small things like that should be addressed in the care plan you create together.
Talk to Your Parents About Their Goals
Ask your parents what their goals are. Do they want to stay in their home or have they thought about moving to a condo where someone else has to do the maintenance and yard work? Do they want to stay in their area or does a warmer climate sound more appealing?
Find Out if Legal Protections Are in Place
If your parents haven’t talked to a lawyer about a will or powers of attorney, they need to. If something happens, they do not want doctors or court officials making decisions for them. They should have advance directives in place that state what their wishes are with different aspects of critical care.
Come Up With a List of Things They’re Comfortable Doing Independently
Once you’ve taken care of those details, ask your parents what they like doing by themselves. Your dad might be proud of the fact that he’s still walking around his neighborhood each day. Your mom may love that she’s 85 and still driving herself around.
If they’re doing those things well on their own, they won’t need senior care aides to help. You do need to decide if they are doing them well or just think they are. Go for a drive with your mom and see how she does behind the wheel. Join your dad on a walk and see if he gets out of breath or struggles to keep going.
Finalize the List of Care Services They Know Will Help Them
As you work through the things they do well on their own and areas where they need help, start making a list. These are the services you should ask about.
Don’t overlook any services offered by your local senior care agency. Companionship services are often overlooked, but they’re one of the most helpful. Call our senior care agency to learn more about companionship visits.