As people age, their vision and hearing weaken, movements and reflexes slow, and overall health declines. As most adult children are likely to be busy with their own jobs, they may not be able to care for their parents properly or address their increasing needs. Though everyone wants their loved ones to live in their homes forever, at some point in your life you may have to look for an alternative care option for your elderly parents. Many people find this process hard to navigate.
What to do first?
The right time to talk about senior care options with your elderly parents and other family members is actually long before care is required. It would be great if you can discuss such things before the development of physical or cognitive disabilities. That is also the best time to make sure that your loved ones have their financial dealings in order, including powers of attorney, wills, health care proxies, and trusts.
Geriatric care manager (GCMs)
Typically, a geriatric care manager is a nurse or a social worker specializes in geriatrics. A GCM can help your family identify needs and find the right ways to meet those needs. They may conduct background checks on potential caregivers, check whether the facilities are licensed, and make personal visits to the prospective facilities.
However, GCMs can be expensive. Typically, Medicare and Medicaid don't pay for such services. But there are some long-term care insurance policies that cover geriatric management expenses (which may range from $50 to $250 per hour based on the place you live and the services they provide).
A part-time caretaker can perhaps help you if your parents are fairly independent and does not need skilled medical care. It can be a member of your cathedral, a college student, or a friend. This caretaker can give companionship to your parents for a few hours at their home or take them to shopping and other purposes.
Some caregivers volunteer their time without charging anything. Others generally charge an hourly fee without entering into a contract.
Home health aide
If your parents are disabled or need more care than your family and friends can provide, you can hire a home health aide (HHA). A home health aide generally provides routine personal care services (such as bathing and cooking) and housekeeping. Additionally, they may accompany clients on shopping trips and doctor visits. Some aides may also offer basic psychological support.
Assisted living communities
Assisted living communities in Seattle allow seniors as much autonomy in their activities of daily living as they can deal with. It is the best care option for seniors who are no longer able to manage on their own but don't need continuous medical care. The residents generally get a studio or one-bedroom apartment. There are common spaces where the residents can meet each other. Additionally, assisted living provides a variety of recreational and social activities to promote socializing among residents.
Nursing homes provide 24-hour medical care for individuals who are no longer able to care for themselves because of physical or mental conditions.