Your back home from the Thanksgiving holiday and you are concerned about the safety of your parents. You have seen a few things that make you worry if it safe for them to live at home by themselves. I know it is a tough thing to talk about. No one wants to give up their independence and move from the home they love. But, as I learned at West Point, sometimes we have to take the “harder right instead of the easier wrong.” Here is a good article I saved for this season:
How to Talk to Aging Parents About Moving to Nursing Home
“Children can generally see clear warning signs when it is time for their parent to enter an assisted living home or a nursing home,” says Kevin Flynn, president of Healthcare Advocates. “The sad reality is that it often takes an adverse event to make the elderly parent realize that such a placement is needed.”
The earlier you can react to warnings signs the easier the transition can be on parents, so it’s important to know what signs to look out for and address.
According to health experts, signs include forgetfulness when it comes to basic daily events like leaving the stove on, a lack of appetite or ability to eat, inability to food shop and constantly forgetting to take medication.
“When a parent is unable to care for himself/herself and needs help with everyday things like bathing, dressing and making meals, it may be time to consider a nursing home or an assisted living facility,” says Martin Rosen, executive vice president and cofounder of Health Advocate. “Other reasons for considering professional help for parent include if he/she has memory problems, has physical limitations and is prone to falls, and/ or has side effects from multiple medications.”
If warning signs are present, the next step is to figure the level of care options and approach your parents and family members about moving into a facility. According to Rosen, you’ll have to determine if it’s better to move the parent to a place or have a live-in nurse provide care in the current residence.
Costs will be a major factor as will insurance coverage and how much the family has to cover the expenses. “It’s important that family members agree before making the decision,” says Rosen. “If there are some disagreements, a geriatric case manager can help with the situation.”