As we all age and enter the twilight years, it is imperative to have peace of mind as to what our care options are and how best to live as independently as possible for as long as possible. This is something that all families are becoming increasingly involved with for their elderly relatives. This has become a family decision and one that it is important to be as informed about as possible.
This article will aim to provide some insight and advice as to how you can help or be involved in the choices of living options for your elderly relatives.
Open the discussion early: don’t let this be something that you only discuss when it’s time to make a decision. Start the discussion as to where your parents or elderly relatives would like to live, and how, as they get older. Would they like to live closer to you for help, assistance, and family friendships? Or, do they plan to downsize and look for an elderly community? As there are many questions to answer and options to discuss, start early.
Do full market research: That sounds harder than it is, but essentially you need to know and understand the various elderly care options:
- Assisted living is where the elderly person lives in their own flat or apartment and has helped with their daily living activities and chores. There are some great examples like senior living Dallas and they clearly explain what this entails.
- Independent living: this is about living in your own home, but having access to help when and as you need it.
- Living at home with care: it’s what it says on the tin. You stay in your own home and have specific carers attend to you in your home.
- Community living, moving into a home in a community setting among other elderly people, and with 24/7/365 access to professional care.
Then even around and within these various options, there will be variations in the levels of care provided. Furthermore, each one will have different costs.
Know and understand the available budget: What do your elderly relative and the family have available in terms of man-hours, care provision, housing, and finances to support the elderly as they work less and spend more time with friends and family. Elderly care is a significant cost and it must be budgeted for and planned well in advance.
Develop a plan and book early: once you have done the research and know what the elderly person has in mind for their care and lifestyle, develop a clear plan. Then make bookings to see the various options and if necessary, put them on a waiting list as many of the best places may be full.
Discuss and agree with family and friends: once you have an option in mind and have made a decision, it is critical to share this decision with others in your family and circle of friends. Many find that their option may elicit their friends making a similar move and it’s essential to have family support to make any move into an elderly care option.
Planning for life in your twilight years has changed dramatically as we all now expect to live longer than our ancestors and even our parents. This means that there is more to think about and the earlier this is planned, the better for all concerned.