Options for your aging parent: making the right choice

Options for your aging parent: making the right choice

By Sherise Henry

It’s a season of life that causes concern and prayerful decision making, how to care for your aging parent.  For many becoming your parent’s caregiver can be a lifestyle change you haven’t well researched or prepared for in advance. When it comes to options there are four basic choices

  • Become your parent’s primary caregiver. The immediate concern of which would involve whether or not to leave your job. In a U.S. News Report that gives 10 tips for caring for aging parents, experts advise caregivers to consider how a leave from work would affect their retirement savings. They also suggest you first check your company’s flex time and family leave policies before making that decision.

  • Place your parent in a nursing home facility. For many this is the most difficult of healthcare choices for an ill parent. However there comes a point where you have to face the reality of your ability to care and at least consider a nursing facility as an option. Focus on the family suggests you ask yourself a few important questions…1) Are you finding it difficult to continue hands on care for your loved one?, 2) Do you feel emotionally drained or chronically tired?, and finally 3) Does your elder need rehabilitation or specialized supervision? The Focus on the family researchers warn that Caregiver burnout is common and that the best remedy is to get as much help as possible and look for a support group to help you cope.

  • Place your parent in an assisted living facility.  An assisted living facility may be more important for a parent who needs care and still maintains a certain level of independence when caring for themselves.  The website www.aplaceformom.com suggests the following tips when trying to determine whether an assisted living facility is right for your elder.  Tip #1 Observe the level of cleanliness. Tip #2 Visit during an activity. Tip #3 Pay attention to staff friendliness. Tip #4 Visit the outdoor areas. Tip #5 Eat a meal at the property.  Tip#6 Ask security and safety questions.

Tip #7 Ask questions about personal care. Tip #8 Get feedback from residents and families, Tip #9 Ask about move out criteria and finally Tip #10 Trust your instincts. These questions and observances will hopefully help the caregiver develop some level of trust with the persons caring for their relative.

  • Hire A Sitter.  In a Care.com article titled “How to hire in home care for your seniors” it is suggested that you carefully consider whether or not to hire a senior care agency or hire privately. Some things to consider is whether or not you feel an agency is too impersonal versus the added benefit of having no paperwork or payroll to consider. The article offers 6 things to consider before hiring a caregiver. First, credentials and licensing, being CPR certified etc. Secondly, background checks, along with a criminal background check you may want to Google their name and consider “friending” them on Facebook., Thirdly, references, how long they have done this type of work and the impression they left could be vitally important.  Immigration status and legal matters such as duties and responsibilities and notice and severance are all important.  Finally, finances and taxes should be considered sense the article warns that paying caregivers under the table, while tempting is risky and illegal.

With these helpful hints narrowing down your options can prayerfully take some form of structure. May God’s anointing follow your decision making.

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