It’s a given that as you get older some things become more difficult to do. Sure, some people stay healthy and mobile well into their righties, but not everyone. Health issues happen, and old age happens, and once they do, sometimes the younger generations need to step in and lend a hand.
It’s not always an easy task, and it can add a lot of stress to someone’s life, taking care of an elderly parent or sick relative. But, for family, you have to do what you have to do. Here are some things to consider when it’s time to help an elderly family member.
Can They Stay On Their Own
Just because your elderly relative is old, it doesn’t mean they can’t stay on their own. If they can still bathe themselves, dress themselves, and cook for themselves, then they are fine being on their own. They may or may not still need you for a couple things though.
If they no longer drive, it might be helpful to have you on speed dial so that they can get to doctor’s appointments on time, and to the grocery store when they need to restock the pantry. They may also need your help with their prescription. The older you get the more forgetful you get, and just because someone mixes up their medications doesn’t mean they can’t make it on their own, they may just need you to sort out their week’s worth of meds each week.
Do You Have Room For Them
If they can no longer live on their own, you have a couple decisions to make. Can you take care of their needs, and do you even have room for them in your home? Obviously if you live in a two bedroom apartment with a spouse and children, adding in another adult is going to get crowded.
Are there other siblings or relatives with more room than you? Do you have a nurse in the family? If they simply can’t cook, that’s one thing, but if they are having trouble getting around, they need to be someplace with 24/7 care and lots of open space.
Is Assisted Living The Right Choice?
If there is no one that can care for them properly at a relative’s home. Assisted living may be your only other option. They can get care when they need it, their bedroom and bathroom will have buzzers for emergencies, and they will get served the meals they need each day.
Assisted living isn’t always a cheap option, but your relative’s social security should help cover their living expenses. And, this way you know they are safe and that someone is checking up on them even when you can’t.