Things to think about when elderly parents move in
- Are they able to live on their own in their current home with some assistance?
- Could they live on their own in a smaller more manageable home?
- What about an over 55 community like Fox Run or Amberleigh?
- Is Assisted Living right for your parent like Brompton Heights or Weinberg Campus the right place?
- Should they move in with you?
- What about Adult Day Care?
- Is it time for a Nursing Home?
- What are the legal and financial ramifications?
- What if my parent is not able to make these decisions.
Every situation is different and no one one answer is correct. The best time to discuss these issues is long before there is a problem. There is a lot of information out there and it can be confusing as to where to turn for assistance. Here are a few resources when dealing with older parents in need of assistance:
- Erie County Senior Services – The mission of the Department of Senior Services of Erie County is to provide leadership to promote the optimal well-being of older adults by empowering them to lead lives of independence, health and dignity and to facilitate the development of comprehensive, coordinated and cost-effective services within the community to meet present and future needs of seniors and their caregivers.
- Niagara County Senior Services – The Niagara County Office for the Aging was created in June 1973 through funding from the Older American Act. In August 1974 the Information and Assistance Program was established. We now have staff that goes to all 17 Nutrition Sites as well as Senior Centers, Senior Clubs and Senior Housing. The Office for the Aging is funded by the New York State Office for the Aging with Older Americans Act and New York State funds, and by Niagara County.
- Aftercare Nursing Services – provides in-home nursing services
- WNY Association of Homes and Services for Seniors – WNYAHSA is a regional association of 70 not-for-profit senior care facilities and providers located throughout eight counties of Western New York. Its member facilities house approximately 7,000 residents and employ 7,500 health professionals and support staff. WNYAHSA members include nursing homes, assisted living facilities and senior housing communities, as well as facilities that offer home health care, rehabilitation, dementia care, respite care and other special services for the elderly.
Often I come across couples searching for a new home that will accommodate that of a parent moving in with them. Often they are looking now in anticipation that they may need to take in one or more of their parents. They are lucky they are actually able to plan the space useage prior to moving in. This is different than that of many who have an existing home and need to move a parent in with them.
Read Also: Living with Seniors
Preparing your home for an elderly parent
When we age we lose balance, mobility and many seniors have difficulty with eye sight. We also need to keep into mind that the elderly slow down. In our face paced world and immediate mentality we need to slow down. When preparing your home for an elderly parent take into consideration:
- Lighting – Senior eyes are not what they used to be. So well lit areas are important
- Easy Access Storage – remove the need for step stools and excessive reaching for items
- Clear Pathways – keep at least 36 inches between objects to make access in a wheelchair or walker easier
- Bathroom Safety – this is one of the most dangerous areas of a house for a person with mobility issues, but you can remove some of those dangers by:
- Installing a non-slip floor and on the tub surface
- Door opening out
- Grab bars installed into studs
- Telephone installed reachable from toilet and tub
- Door able to be unlocked from the outside
When moving a parent in with you, it is a dramatic change, not only for the parent but yourself and that of your family. Make sure that you have them part of the decisions on their living space, bring some of their favorite things into your home to ease the transition.
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