Making the Best Choice in Care for the Aged

| Friday, March 25, 2011
By Gnifrus Urquart

An important though sometimes unpleasant part of life is making arrangements for those who are no longer able to take full care of themselves. Whether it is one's parents or another elderly relative, those advancing in age often require more help and assistance than younger, able-bodied relatives would like to admit. However, getting the best care for eldery relatives is not as difficult and as emotionally gut-wrenching as some might initially think.

A major concern for most adult-age children is the well-being of their parents, especially as parents start to take on the role of children and children begin to adapt to the role of caregiver. While it can be very emotionally draining to watch one's parents need help with tasks that they were initially very much capable of handling, this change in life does not need to cause the level of concern that it often does.

After admitting that one's parents are in need of assistance, it can be a little heartbreaking to start taking the steps necessary to provide the best level of care. Though this is tough, it is essential. The best care possible is only an option after someone admits that it is time to do something for his or her aged relatives, and this is also an important part of the human experience.

Before getting too upset about this transition, it is often comforting to think that many parents, even if they are physically a little weaker, have already made their own arrangements towards care and help. Most parents will have their retirement plan set up in one way or another, and some may even hire their own caretakers to avoid the option of an assisted living facility. Be sure to talk with your parents about their needs and desires, and make sure that all of their bills and obligations are in order. Allowing one's parents to remain independent is one of the biggest parts of caretaking, and it is important to not make anyone elderly feel as though they are incapable of handling any of the arrangements in their own life, even if assistance is necessary.

If assisted living is not an option and around-the-clock care is not going to cut it, the best option may be to welcome one's parents into your own home. While this can be tough both on the parent and the adult child, the transition doesn't have to be impossible. Providing a safe and comfortable space can greatly cut down on any potential troubles, while bringing families closer together at the same time. The most important first step is preparing a room that feels comforting and also safe for an elderly relative.

However, sometimes around-the-clock care is a better choice. While this option is often seen as more expensive, the truth is, it is often less costly than making the commitment to an assisted living facility. However, talking to your elderly relative's doctor is the best way to determine what sort of care is necessary, and whether or not this can be accomplished at home.

Regardless of if it is in one's own home or their parents home, some steps need to be taken to optimize safety. Be sure to tack down all carpets, check out the house to make sure there are no physical obstacles, and provide a cell phone or a single-touch emergency response device so that, in case of an emergency, getting help is as simple as pressing a single button. This can decrease stress both for adult-age children and their parents alike.

Above all, don't ever forget when providing physical care for aged relatives that there is more to safety and security than just ensuring that, in case of a medical emergency, care can be provided quickly and effectively. Paying attention to the emotional factors in giving up one's independence is just as important, if not more so, and those who are able to acknowledge this fact often find that their new living situation is a lot smoother than those who merely focus on their adult parent's physical safety and begin treating them with kid gloves. After all, regardless of your parent's age or physical condition, he or she has lived a full life, and deserves the recognition that, even needing assistance, he or she is not completely infirm, especially when it comes to emotional factors. Ultimately, contentment is just as important of a factor to be focused on as physical safety and well-being.

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