Options For Care Of Aging Family Members

Options For Care Of Aging Family Members

It can be a difficult conversation to start, but once you get them to open up, they can be very clear with their wishes
Pauline
Pauline
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Helping loved ones face the struggles of old age is a very difficult situation. First and foremost, you always want them to be safe and healthy, but you also want to let them stay in the familiar surroundings of the home they may have occupied for decades. It is an issue that involves both emotions and finances, making it twice as hard to deal with.

The best time to discuss this situation with aging parents or other loved ones is long before it’s necessary. It can be a difficult conversation to start, but once you get them to open up, they can be very clear with their wishes. From there, you must work together to formulate a plan to provide for their care as they need more assistance.

There are three general ways they can choose to receive care. The first would be to let them stay in their own home and provide care there. The second would be to move in with you or with other family members, and the third would be to make the transition into an assisted-living facility.

Each of those options has its relative advantages and disadvantages. You’ll need to weigh them with your family member before making a decision.

Staying At Home

This is often the most affordable option, even when 24-hour assistance is required. Should that be the case, most families will find the cost considerably lower to provide support staff than to move to a nursing home. It can be cheaper still if family members can set up a schedule to stay with the seniors, even if it’s just part of the time.

The home may require some modifications, which can be done by a construction pro. If mobility has declined, it may be simply a matter of building a few ramps, adding some handrails, and getting stair chair lifts installed.

With the support of a home health agency and volunteers, you can put off the move to a nursing home facility.

Staying With Family

This is the second-best choice for many families. If the senior can’t stay in their own home and meet his or her own ADLs or activities for daily living, another option is to stay with loved ones. This represents an acceptable compromise when staying in their own home isn’t possible.

However, this type of move still represents a big adjustment. The senior may have to move a great distance, creating concerns about moving and storing their belongings as well as about what to do with the house. If selling it is not an option, there will be some expense and effort involved in securing and maintaining it.

Otherwise, this can be a very positive option. The home may require some of the same modifications we noted earlier, but beyond that, the transition can be fairly smooth.

Assisted Living Or Skilled Nursing

This final option is best for seniors who require either some or full skilled health care around the clock. This could be as simple as assistance with bathing and eating, and additional physical therapy. A skilled nursing facility is a good option for patients who may be recovering from strokes or more serious injuries such as hip fractures. In some cases, it can also be a good long-term solution.

It is a step that takes some preparation. There are insurance and estate considerations to review, and the change in location can be traumatic for the senior. The family will also need to make plans about the patient’s home and belongings, especially since such facilities have limited space.

Making plans for the care of an aging family member can be a difficult and confusing process. It’s important to discuss options with these loved ones and get a DPOA in place before decisions must be made.

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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House Hunting At Its Finest

It's incredibly stressful and takes way too long!

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House hunting is hard. I thought at first it would be fun, exciting, and interesting. But now, I'm tired and bored and just want to give up.

I've been looking for a house for a month now and I knew it going in to it, it would take a while. I knew that I wouldn't just walk into the first house and be like, "this is it, this is the one".

But, when you look at 6-10 houses every time you search a day, it gets stressful and tiring.

When I started looking at houses it was because I was planning on getting a house with some friends to rent out for the next 3 years while at UCF. All because I didn't get a spot-on campus with the lottery, I got waitlisted. So, I need to look for housing to secure a place to live next fall.

Now, my dad wants to turn it into a small business. Buy a house, rent out the rooms for a reasonable price, cheaper than some apartments, and make a profit.

It sounds like a good plan.

But then you have to factor in: location and how far it is from campus, the price range in which you could make a profit, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the price per square inch, the property taxes, if the house needs work or not, upgrades, improvement, parking availability, etc. The list just goes on and on.

It's hard to find the "perfect" house.

I want to be able to make it "home" for the next 3 years. I want to make it somewhere where I can hang out, have friends over, and love to live in.

Every time I walk into a new house, I automatically think, "what would I do to this room? Or that?". I think of furniture and décor. I think about how I would design it and make it ours.

I even made a Pinterest board, one for home décor and one for bedrooms.

I feel like I'm going overboard but I can't help it.

I get excited when it comes to the designing aspect, but my parents have to be so nit-picky. They came up over the weekend to search for houses with me and every time we walk into a house I hear: "the carpet is stained, needs to be removed", "the kitchen is outdated, needs to be upgraded", "the bathroom needs work", "the wall has a hole", "not enough bathrooms" and so much more.

It's not like I don't chime in with comments either.

I do put in a fair share of my personal opinions about the quality of the houses too.

But, at this point I wish we could just settle on something. Again, I know this takes time but I just get anxious.

So, we are going into the 5thweek and still haven't agreed on a house. My mom has her picks, my dad has his, and I have mine. And none of them overlap. Frankly, I don't get a "say" in what my parents chose since they will be purchasing the house. But, I get to live in it, my friends are the ones who will be paying them rent. So, I feel like my opinion matters. Whenever I ask questions or give input, they talk over me.

As if, I wasn't even there!

Yet, that is how the ball rolled. Wow, I'm borderline whining over here. It's not like I'm not grateful but, I wish I was valued as an adult helping in this situation.

Well thank you for coming to my "TED" talk! And reading about yet another annoying and trivial struggle of mine. I'll write again soon.

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