In the U.S., 22.3% of family members have helped a parent in the past month. Just over 17% who do not currently provide any care expect they’ll have to in the next couple of years. Has your family talked about the long-term yet? It’s time.
October is Long-Term Care Planning Month and a good time to address your dad’s care needs as he ages. What are his goals? What happens if he does start to need others to assist him around the home?
Sit Down and Talk About Your Dad’s Goals
It’s hard to talk about your dad getting older, but it’s also necessary. You can’t predict how the end of his life will play out. He may be healthy throughout his retirement, or he might learn he has a chronic health condition like heart disease or dementia. It’s important to discuss the what-ifs and have a plan of action in mind for worst-case scenarios.
As your dad ages, what does he want? Would he want to downsize and move to a retirement community for the social aspect? It’s important to know these answers so that you can help him with long-term goals.
If he wants to stay in his home, which is the popular choice with older adults (almost 90% per AARP), make sure his home is equipped to match his changing needs. Is his home one-level? If he suddenly couldn’t climb the stairs due to chronic arthritis pain or a hip fracture, would he be able to get out of the house without help?
Is his home equipped with safety grab bars in the shower and near the toilet? Are the rails on stairs inside and outside of his home sturdy and anchored to wall studs rather than the drywall? If he grabs a rail for support and it comes loose, it will lead to a fall, and that’s not what you want to happen.
Does your dad have an advance directive or living will drawn up? If something happens and he can’t make medical decisions on his own, would he want you making them or another relative? A power of attorney is essential to protect his wishes.
Who Would He Want to Help Him?
Don’t be offended if your dad tells you he doesn’t want his adult children helping him. He might be fine with you helping with smaller tasks like taking him shopping or assisting him in the garden. But, he may dread ever having his children help him with toileting, bathing, and grooming.
Respect your dad’s preferences, even if you’re happy to help. If he would prefer to have a trained personal care aide helping him with toileting, oral care, bathing, grooming, dressing, and hygiene tasks, talk to him about how to make those arrangements. Would he want to be involved in the discussions or does he want you to ask his questions and go over the answers you were given?
Any long-term care plan needs to address the importance of having a helping hand available for in-home care. As hard as it is to admit your dad has reached a point where he can’t be fully independent without help, it’s important to arrange in-home care services before something tragic happens. Talk to a specialist to learn more.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering In-Home Care in Atlanta, GA please contact the caring staff at Universal Home Care And Services, Inc today. (678) 426-2701
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