The first of the baby boomers reached retirement age in 2011 and according to the AARP, an average of 9,000 boomers join these ranks daily. As many grown children know, transitioning your parent into a nursing home or assisted living is never without its difficulties. Possibly the most difficult situation is when the parent isn’t quite ready to be transitioned into a home yet. In some cases, aging parents don’t want to leave their homes or usurp any independence although they need help with daily activities. For others, they find themselves in a tough situation when they have a few needs either physically or medically, yet they don’t need 24/7 assistance yet. If your parent is stuck in this gap where they need some help but aren’t quite ready for assisted living yet, take a look at the following solutions that might help:
Most injuries occur in the home. Maximize your parent’s success at independent living by eliminating as many hazards as possible. If they aren’t quite ready to be under constant supervision, do what you can to make their home a safe place for them to be alone. Do an inspection of your parent’s home and make necessary repairs. Change the batteries in fire and carbon monoxide alarms on a routine basis. If you are unable to perform these tasks yourself, consider hiring a handyman for minor repairs and general home maintenance. With a few adjustments, your parent might be able to stay in their home for a few more years without any accidents or worries.
Home Care and Community Services
Even though your parent may be in good physical health, seniors living at home are at risk for social isolation. This can lead to depression and depression can exacerbate physical symptoms. Most communities offer programs, either privately or governmentally operated, that offer in-home services ranging from companionship and house-cleaning to assistance with medication and bathing.
Consider enrolling your parent for membership at a local senior center. This is a perfect opportunity for socialization as well as mental and physical stimulation. This is not senior-daycare. The bygone days of bingo have been replaced by book clubs, writing and art classes, exercise and more. Community professionals often volunteer their expertise on subjects such as tax preparation, health issues and more.
Cooking a nutritious meal for one or two people can be a daunting task. Therefore, many seniors fall into the habit of grabbing a bowl of cereal or throwing a frozen dinner into the oven for their main meal of the day. Many communities offer free, or low cost, meals for seniors. The lunch not only ensures at least one nutritious meal per day, it also offers your parent the opportunity to socialize with their peers. If your parent is unable to attend the lunch, home delivery is usually an option.
There may come a time when your parent is no longer thriving at home. Yet, he or she is too healthy and active to enter a nursing home. This may be the time to consider an assisted-living facility. These facilities cater to individuals who need minor assistance with their activities of daily living. Most facilities offer a homey atmosphere with plenty of privacy for their tenants, making it a nice transition before nursing home placement becomes necessary.
As a parent ages, family roles seem to reverse. This can be an emotionally confusing time for both the child and parent. While you obviously want what is best for your parent, remember to listen to their ideas and feelings. Working as a team will reduce stress and maintain family harmony as you bridge the gap during this time.
AUTHOR BIO: This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write for health, parenting, and women’s interests. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters. Dixie got advice for this article from the professionals at the Alpine Manor Home for Adults, who offer assisted living in Rochester, NY.
Image credit: Deposit Photos/rjlerich
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