Elder Care Often Becomes a Concern for Adult Children

Elder adults at some point in their lives we will likely become ill, have a hospitalization, and hopefully return our usual lives, albeit with some modifications of medications, exercise, and diet. The older we get, and in the 21st century, many of us will become very old, health concerns affecting our independence and quality of life for elder adults are spotlighted.

Elder planning for seniors

The concerns of grown sons and daughters for the well-being of a parent (or other family member) is real and usually based on good reasons. Physical, emotional, and cognitive decline and impairment become most prevalent with older seniors.  The key is to be aware. Be sensitive to changes in your parent with regard to balance, driving, memory, behavior among other cues. If you notice changes, speak to them about it and speak with their doctors. Having a durable power of attorney is needed to speak with the various professionals in your parent’s life.

Options and Decisions

Should you and your siblings realize that your parent needs some degree of assistance, there are several choices to consider. It is highly recommended to discuss concerns and worries with your love one. Be calm, patient, offer suggestions, and know that it is a process of conversations and tweaks over time. Since falls and medication mistakes account for many hospital stays and risk for further complications these should be addressed first. Whichever concern is paramount in your situation, that is to be addressed next.

Elder Care Basic Interventions Include:

  1. An Emergency Response Button — especially if parent lives alone
  2. Home Safety Review of the Entire Home
  3. Full Physical Exam; if there are Cognitive/Memory Concerns – a Neurological Work Up too
  4. Driving Test if there are Driving Concerns – Dings on Car or Fender Benders – use of Senior Public Transportation
  5. Consider having a Home Care Aide a Few Hours a Week or Daily – depending on level of need
  6. Hiring a Geriatric Care Manager to Assess and Monitor
  7. Explore Relocating Parent Closer to Family
  8. Research Government Benefits and Community Resources
  9. Visit Senior Day Centers
  10. Discuss Moving into Independent or Assisted Living Community