I see this situation frequently; an aging parent, living in his or her own home, relies on an adult child to provide increasing support to provide care and assistance. The adult child can become overwhelmed as the loved one’s needs grow. It happens gradually. First the son or daughter is visiting once a week to help out; pretty soon they are fully responsible for shopping, lawn care, snow removal, bill paying, housecleaning, personal care and other tasks. Before they know it, the son or daughter is in over their head trying to care for their parent while fulfilling many other responsibilities. Often it gets overwhelming and usually it leads to burn out.
It is important for families to be able to reach out to resources and services in the community in order to get any as assistance that is available to help with the often daunting task of caring for their loved one. The Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) is an excellent source of information and help. They can help navigate families to what resources and options are available in the community.
One option that alleviates the strain on families and helps provide a more vibrant and safe living environment for the aging adult is moving to an assisted living community. There they are provided with healthy meals, health monitoring, housekeeping services and personal care assistance. In addition they will have many opportunities to engage in social activities and to meet new friends.
Although many seniors are reluctant to move because they don’t want to leave their home, once they make the decision, they are delighted with the peace of mind of having their needs met while enjoying the rich socialization that occurs in retirement communities. Seniors should be encouraged to at least tour a few retirement communities to have some what of an understanding of what they have to offer. A respite stay is often available so they can “try it out” for a few weeks. Also, most retirement communities offer a month to month contract so if they decide it is not for them they can leave.
Most seniors LOVE living in retirement communities and they are very happy they finally made the decision to move. The families are thrilled because now a visit with mom or dad means quality time instead of doing chores and they don’t have to worry about them being at home alone.
If you need help convincing your parents to move reach out to the experts at the Aging and Disability Resource Center. Their counselors can help discuss options and the benefits of making a move. Also, most retirement communities have a specific experienced person who can help answer questions and explore options. That person is often able to discuss your specific situation with you and your parents in a very open way, helping everyone to understand more about the benefits of moving to an assisted living community. I am one of those people and would be glad to help in any way.
Community Relations Director
Appleton Retirement Community
firstname.lastname@example.org or 920-450-3350