How to Help your Aging Parents and Elderly Clinets Remain at Home
Years ago the reality of aging usually consisted of two choices–either the aging person went into a nursing home or lived with family members. Of course, there were exceptions, but those were the primary choices. Today’s aging population has different ideas about where they will spend their retirement years. Most people I’ve talked to have verbalized a desire to remain in their homes. This is often referred to as “Aging in Place.”
Start the dialogue by asking what your parents or elderly clients prefer. Most important in this conversation is that you LISTEN to their preferences, their reasoning, and their desires. Don’t rush to find a way to make it happen, let the process unfold over time.
In order to make a determination of where your aging parents or elderly clients will reside there are a number of factors to consider from both points of view:
Proximity to Family Members
Need for Assistance
Desire for Assistance
Availability of Assistance
Weigh the factors over time and remain open to ongoing dialogue. Given time, attitudes may change and you may find that your parents or clients are making suggestions or hinting they would like additional help. Remember, it is important for seniors to feel validated and respected. They have a right to their opinions and their freedoms. By engaging in meaningful dialogue the outcome is more likely to be beneficial for all parties and the collaborative efforts open other doors on harder subjects. Taking things slowly allows time for trial and error. It is important to rein in your own agenda to allow for compromise and negotiation.
Some seniors are perfectly fine on their own well into their eighties or nineties. Others get lonely and would like some company so setting up a house sharing arrangement may work for them. Then there are those with health issues or physical impairments who need structured routines and intense caregiving. Regardless of what the situation is today it is also possible that in a few months, or possibly years there will be a different level of care needed.
Remaining open to suggestion, possibilities, and change allows you and your aging parents, or elderly clients, the flexibility to make decisions based on needs at any point in time.
What are your ideas on the subject? How would you start the dialogue with your parents or clients on this subject?
Thank you for reading my thoughts. I’d love to have you share your thoughts or stories in the comment section. Feel free to pass this information on to anyone who might find it useful.