What Questions To Ask Aging Parents

There comes a time in life when we as children need to have “that talk” with our parents and hope to get the best response that will help them. So many times, illnesses strike and in the worse way too, so they end up tipping out earlier than usual. As they get older, are you aware of the relevant legal documentation you need to have in place should anything happen? Also, how are their future medical plans – will everything be ok in case an emergency strikes? There are a lot of questions to Ask Aging Parents.

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Well, either way, there are some questions you may need to ask your parents while they are still able to communicate effectively.

Top Ten Questions To Ask Aging Parents 

After all, memory loss illnesses like Alzheimer’s are a terrible thing and most times come on unexpectedly so while you can, here are some questions to ask your parents as they get older…

1. Do You Have a Durable Power of Attorney?

With a power of attorney, they permit someone to trust who will take care of all their affairs should anything happen to them. Every so often, when they get old, they become incapacitated and cannot make stable decisions on their own.

A power of attorney does not have to apply to one person as they can designate someone to look after their health decisions and one to look after their financial decisions (health and financial proxies, respectively). Also, one person may do both.

2. What are Your End-of-Life Wishes?

When looking at questions to Ask Aging Parents, this is important. Life is unpredictable, and you can never tell what will happen down the line as one gets older.

It is best to find out from them what they would desire in the future as it relates to their health choices. For instance, you can ask them their choice of feeding should they be unable to feed themselves (feeding tube, ventilator, etc.).

Also, should they experience a terminal condition like a coma or heart failure, would they want to be placed on life support or should we “pull the plug”? Whatever their decision, the health care proxy should be aware of it.

3. Do You Have a Will or Living Trust?

What happens to their money and possessions after they die should be their decision to make. A will or living trust will help to organize their belongings as well as who will get what and how much.

A lot of older adults, though, prefer to put their life earnings in trust and designate one or more persons to take charge in case they become incapacitated.

4. Do You Have Long-Term Care Insurance or Another Plan in Case Long-Term Care is Required?

Assisted living can be rather expensive, as the national average cost can be up to and over $3100. If not careful, a senior’s life savings can be gone in the blink of an eye, so having a long-term health care system in place will be a good option.

If they do have a long-term care plan in place, it is recommended you get a copy of the policy to read and ensure you fully understand it. Make a few calls to the insurer if you are unclear about anything.

5. Are All Your Documents Current and Updated?

You need to ensure all the documents mentioned above are up-to-date and have all the current information. Check to ensure your parents understand everything with regards to any possible changes.

What do you talk about with aging parents?

6. Where Can I Find These Documents If I Ever Need Them?

You wouldn’t think about this question unless your parent had a sudden stroke and could no longer talk. It can be a hard thing to talk about but it is one of those important questions to Ask Aging Parents.

Our parents sure know how to put stuff up and then not being able to find them in the case of an emergency. As such, it may not be the best decision to let your parents keep them if you are not able to find them on your own.

Should they have a safe or security box at home, this may be an ideal place to keep them and a trusted family member having access. If they are in a fire-safe, a confidant is needed to share the code with the parent.

7. Do You Have a Financial Advisor?

Finance and health are two of the most critical aspects of their life, and the best interest is needed for their well-being. At this stage, you need to find out if they have a financial advisor who is giving them advice, and if such, can they be trusted?

Getting this information will help you to know if your parents’ advisor is of reputable standing and you will also know who to reach in case of an emergency.

8. If You Can No Longer Take Care of Yourself, How Would You Prefer To Live?

Their plans are the gateway to making them live a healthy and happy life in their last years. You want to ensure you have the little chat with them before time draws in too close. You want to ensure you get your parents to make plans soon enough in their life, so at least basic strategies can be put in place.

When they reach the stage where they can no longer live by themselves, you want to give them the preference of choosing their future living options. Would they prefer to be placed in an assisted care center?

Or, do they want to have live-in help and a nurse? Also, you can suggest to them living with you and see what their response will be. Be mindful that future health care plans may be expensive, so the earlier the talk, the better arrangements can be put in place.

9. Do You Have Regular Medical Check-ups?

Health complications can result in your parents having to visit different types of specialists in addition to their primary healthcare provider. Should your parents become sick or hospitalized, health records from one or more of these doctors will be critical to treating and taking care of them.

You will want to get contact details for these physicians in case of an emergency. On the flip side, some parents prefer to use home remedies from TV or radio doctors so you may want to be aware of that too.

10. Do You Understand the Need for Your Prescribed Medications?

This is huge on the list of questions to Ask Aging Parents. When your parents reach a certain age, they may end up taking a high quantity of prescribed medications.

Getting them to discuss this will help you to understand what they are taking and what it is for, as well as if they can handle them on their own. Knowing their medication schedule and their doctor’s contact will help should a medical crisis arise.

You want to ensure your parents are in the best shape and position when they reach the stage they can no longer manage on their own. It is now your responsibility to help them get organized, as we all know…life is unpredictable.  

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10 Great Books On Aging Parents

Great Books On Aging Parents? Whoever said it was easy to care for your elderly parents may never have experienced the real deal when it comes to their demand and overall – living! They can either prove to be difficult, be restrained, segregate themselves, or cooperate and let life takes its course.

Either way, you will need help as a child who is taking care of your elderly parent. As such, those who have dealt with it or are dealing with it have put their feelings into words to help guide you and let you know what is happening.

10 Great Books on Aging Parents

Here are a few books you can consider reading through to help you along the way…

How to Care for Aging Parents

This book will help you get all the answers you need to questions you wished you didn’t have to ask. How to Care for Aging Parents is a resourceful material prepared by Family Caregiver Alliance and is a strong source of information, support, and stability.

It is regarded as a compassionate and comprehensive caregiver’s bible that guides you through the changes to be expected, the adjustments you must make, how to avoid being “a parent to your parent,” as well as how to deal with any potential difficult issue or crisis that may arise. If you have the time for only one of the Great Books On Aging Parents, this would be it.

Reading this book will guide you on how to cope with chronic issues such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other memory loss illnesses. They will not easily adjust to you (even if they lived with you), and this book provide a guide on how to work through this.

Coping with Your Difficult Older Parent

If you have to deal with a parent who always blamed you, doesn’t want to be alone, is obsessed with sickness, or finds pleasure in pulling your legs the wrong way, then you need this book. Of course, it is stressful to deal with an aging parent who does not find it easy to adjust to life because of the crisis health or other conditions may bring.

You can aid in helping them to transition from one stage of life to another and dealing with anger, guilt, frustration, and blame. This book is seen as a “common-sense guide” from a team of professionals who have had firsthand experience in dealing with people who go through this condition. Reading this book also helps you to:

  • Have the talk with your parents about not being able to live with you
  • Handle negativity from your parents
  • Deal with a parent who is impaired from one condition or the other
  • Decide the best options for living when your parents can no longer live alone.  

A Bittersweet Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents–and Ourselves

When you are thrown in the position of taking up an instance caregiver role, you will understand how difficult and stressful it can be to take care of your aging parent(s).

Writer Jane Gross was put in a similar situation and is the ultimate reason which prompted her to write her book, A Bittersweet Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents and Ourselves. The book tackles issues such as:

  • Dealing with their health conditions and which medical providers may be the best.
  • The truth about assisted living and how to handle hard situations.
  • Family medicines and therapeutic aids for selected health conditions.

Tips for Helping Your Aging Parents: (without losing your mind)

When looking for Great Books On Aging Parents, it is because you realize Caring for your aging parents is a job all by itself, so if you have a full-time job while doing this…it is inevitable for you to become overwhelmed. In the book Tips for Helping Your Aging Parents: (without losing your mind), the writer made it straightforward what it is like to live and deal with them. The book guides you on how to:

  • Deal with their medication
  • Create a safe environment to protect them from hurting themselves
  • Not become overwhelmed while caring for them
  • Deal with a crisis should one arise
  • Have critical discussions with your parents
  • Deal with parents who refuse getting paid assisted help at home.  

Holding the Net: Caring for My Mother on the Tightrope of Aging

If you dealt with caring for an aging parent or you are going through it, this book will be perfect for giving you the solace you need to keep going. It can be a challenge to care for them, especially if you don’t understand the needs and conditions that come with being old.

This amazing book, Holding the Net, provides a full practical guide on how to prepare yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally to deal with health decisions, rehab, living arrangements, and so much more. It encourages you and advises from experts on how to handle and manage every situation.

Role Reversal: How to Take Care of Yourself and Your Aging Parents

This book is designed to give the best advice to caregivers and potential caregivers who are faced with the reality of caring for their elderly family. It guides you on how to care for your loved one amidst the challenging pressure you are facing. There is valuable information on critical topics you will need to guide to guide you along the way.

The Caregiving Season: Finding Grace to Honor Your Aging Parents

Caring for your elderly parents is stressful, hard, and challenging, and it is a season of your life that will never be normal and will forever change your life. The Caregiving Season: Finding Grace to Honor Your Aging Parents details every practical advice you will need to cope and handle the situation at hand.

Dementia or Alzheimer’s?: A Daughter’s Guide to Home Care from the Early Signs and Onset of Dementia through the Various Alzheimer Stages

While there are many suggestions and references for others to use, the book never falls into a dull recounting of lists of books or items to pursue. Instead, as Ms. Gail recounts her memories, she shares the helpful things she found that aided her mother during what can be a difficult time for everyone.

This loving memoir is a touching reminder to all of us that even though it can be painful watching a loved one go through this difficult time, there are rewards in helping them in whatever way we are able.

Children of the Aging Self-Absorbed: A Guide to Coping with Difficult, Narcissistic Parents and Grandparents

This book provides you with awareness on how to deal with your parent’s self-absorbed behaviors and attitudes as they get older. It shows you how to develop strategies in dealing with your parents based on the current situations you face while caring for them. Also, it shows you how to set limits with your parents for you to remain focus and sane during the process.

30 Days of Hope When Caring for Aging Parents (Gifts of Hope)

30 Days of Hope When Caring for Aging Parents (Gifts of Hope) gives you a chance to live and maintain stability while you care for your elderly parents. It has a spiritual guide to it in terms of caring for your parents in a way that is pleasing to God and at least shows honor to them amidst the possible stress they are causing. You will maintain dignity and sanity with the guidelines presented in this book, and, of course, they are easy to implement.

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10 great books to read about aging parents

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The Benefits of Geriatric Massage Therapy

Geriatric Massage therapy can help the elderly deal with medical conditions such as depression, improving circulation, and improving their flexibility.

Massage therapy has advanced and grown over the past several years and is beneficial for all age ranges. For elderly individuals, massage therapy can be especially helpful in several ways.

Geriatric Massage Therapy

Massage can be very useful in helping an older adult overcome some serious medical ailments and also to help with improving flexibility and mobility. Because of these benefits, according to Northwestern University, health practitioners often recommend massage for their elderly patients.

Geriatric Massage for Improving Circulation

Massage therapy can help to improve circulation in the elderly. According to Northwestern University, massage therapy helps to stimulate blood and lymph circulation, and this helps to deliver fresh oxygen to the muscles. Besides, this can help to flush out waste products that might linger in these areas.

Also, improved circulation can help to improve blood sugar and blood pressure levels. Massage can also help an elderly person an alternative way to maintain control of medical conditions, such as diabetes, that can sometimes be hard to manage on their own.

Paul Armen Odian is a gifted massage therapist. In this video he talks about things to consider when providing massage for the elderly and why it is important to him to work with the elderly

According to Northwestern University, improved circulation can even help to promote healing after surgery or injuries to muscles or soft tissue.

What is a geriatric massage?

Massage Therapy for Easing Depression

Depression can plague the elderly as they age. Depression may become so severe that it can interfere with daily activities and the enjoyment of life. The elderly can experience depression related to the deaths of loved ones, decreased mobility, or isolation. Massage therapy offers an alternative way to help treat this sometimes chronic problem.

According to the National Library of Medicine, massage can help to improve stress and tension, and this can have direct emotional benefits. Massage therapy can also stir strong emotions for the recipient of the massage.

This release of emotions can help to improve psychological distress and depression. According to the National Library of Medicine, this release of pent-up emotion is caused when a hormone called oxytocin is released from the body during a massage.

Are massages good for elderly?

Massage Therapy for Improving Flexibility

Aging can bring about problems with mobility and flexibility. As a result, the elderly sometimes have more difficulty performing routine daily tasks. Some elderly even suffer from medical conditions like arthritis, and this can add to the complexity of performing hobbies that they love doing or their daily chores. Geriatric massage therapy can help an elderly person to keep their joints from becoming stiff and unmanageable.

The Lakeside School of Massage Therapy reports that massage can help to increase flexibility by restoring the mobility of the joints and reducing the limitations of the soft tissue around the joint. This can help to make daily tasks for the elderly much more manageable and improve their physical limitations.

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Massage therapy for seniors

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Helping Seniors With Pets Pros and Cons

Giving an elderly person, the gift of a pet is a thoughtful act. Consider what kind of pet would suit the older person and any extra work for the caregiver. Helping Seniors With Pets can be beneficial and difficult at the same time.

A pet makes a great companion for a senior. A dog or cat offers comfort for an older adult during times of isolation and loneliness. Pets have therapeutic value for the elderly; in fact, interacting with a beloved pet can lower blood pressure and ease stress.

Buying A Pet For An Elderly Person Means Extra Caregiver Duties

But pets also generate extra work for caregivers, and they’re an added expense in the household. Pets need daily grooming. Some pets need baths and regular visits to the vet. A dog or cat can be costly with food and vaccinations.

An Elderly Person Who Cares for a Pet

The most low-maintenance dog or cat still needs care and attention. An aquarium can provide hours of enjoyment, but fish need to be fed, and the tank needs to be cleaned periodically.

As a loved one grows older, caring for an animal may become an overwhelming task. Forgetting to feed and water a pet is only the beginning for the elder who can’t provide adequate attention to the animal.

What to do with elderly parents pets?

There are other points to consider when an older person becomes responsible for a pet. Aging naturally affects hearing and vision in the older pet owner. Small energetic dogs can cause dangerous falls to an older adult who can’t see well. A cat can also cause falls, and cat litter boxes must be kept clean.

Birds may be too difficult for a senior to care for. Bird droppings left to dry can turn to dust and contaminate the air – and could even cause respiratory problems for humans.

Home health aides, visiting social workers, and therapists often make home visits and record information about the elder’s living environment. These professionals are obligated to record and report such problems as foul odors in the home, pet droppings, and unclean animals that appear neglected.

Check out the top 10 dog breeds that are the best for Seniors

Helping Seniors with Pets Makes Added Work for a Caregiver

The relative who is a home caregiver to an elderly parent or other senior family member has a full schedule already. Adding pet care to a caregiver’s workload may not be the fair thing to do.

Dogs need to be walked, and other animals require at least some maintenance. The caregiver also takes on the chore of scheduling vet visits and providing any specialized care the animal needs.

In contrast, a pet’s safety could be jeopardized if the elderly loved one has behavior issues brought on by age or illness. Elderly persons with dementia can sometimes be combative when provoked. A frightened pet may bite, scratch, or cause injury to both the older adult and the caregiver who tries to intervene. Helping Seniors With Pets is important.

Should a 70 year old get a puppy?

Think Before Choosing a Pet for an Elderly Person

The expense, respiratory problems, possible injuries, and cleanup are just a few issues that have to be taken into account when contemplating the best pet for an aging senior.

A large dog may prevent home break-ins, but such a pet needs a spacious yard for running. At the very least, a large dog would create a significant expense in food. A small dog eats less, but could easily trip the owner and cause serious injury.

While a cat might appear to be the right pet choice for an elderly person, one has to consider vet bills, food, grooming, and daily cleaning of the cat litter box.

Consult with the older adult’s caregiver before deciding on a pet. The senior may have allergies or some medical reason that prevents him or her from direct contact with animals.

Many seniors who live alone are on fixed incomes and cannot afford pet expenses. Still, other elders don’t want to be bothered by the care and upkeep that comes with pet ownership.

An older dog or cat may suit an older person. Kittens and puppies love to play and chew on things – not a very practical pet choice for an older person who doesn’t move fast or can’t see well.

Caged animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs are fun to watch, but these pets are rather high-strung and don’t care to be handled much. Think before making a pet choice for an elderly person. While some pets can provide comfort and companionship, it’s always best to consult with the caregiver or older adult first to make the most appropriate decision.

We love DOGS for Seniors

Helping Seniors With Pets Pros and Cons

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Are Nursing Homes A Safe Haven For The Elderly

Caring for elderly parents or grandparents in a private home setting requires patience, love, and a strong will. Unlike children, though some are like children, adults have a sense of independence, yet are dependent on the caregiver. Once healthy and self-sufficient, they are vulnerable and helpless, in need of care from family members. It causes not only the caregiver grief, but the one being cared for is often confused and can’t accept their condition. Nursing homes may be an option you are considering.

Are Nursing Homes A Safe Haven For The Elderly cover picture

In-home elderly care usually falls on the shoulders of one family member. In the beginning, other family members may assist and give the initial caregiver time off.

Are Nursing Homes A Safe Haven For The Elderly

Still, as time progresses from weeks to months and possibly years, other personal activities tend to override the importance of sharing in the task, often leaving no other choice but putting the loved one in a nursing home. Without family support, it is nearly impossible to spend twenty-four hours, seven days a week meeting the needs required for the elderly person.

Until the early 1900s, people managed to take full responsibility for elderly parents or grandparents. However, many of the caregivers were less fortunate, living in impoverished conditions. Thus, almshouses and poor farms were instituted. Many thought it best to place their loved ones in such a place to get the care they needed.

A Little History Lesson

The almshouses were supported strictly by charity donations and were for those who were no longer productive and needed a place to stay. On the other hand, the poor houses, or at times referred to as poor farms, were at the beginning established to house paupers who were caught stealing.

The poor house is not to be confused with the paupers prison. The farms were supported by taxpayers, similar to the modern-day welfare system. Amongst the residents of such institutions were thieves, the mentally ill, orphans, and the elderly.

Eventually, the government decided that housing those with an array of distinct needs together was inappropriate, and the farms soon became known as “old folks homes.”

When should a person go to a nursing home?

Not until 1935 were changes made in favor of the elderly when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the bill for Social Security benefits. Those who were already housed in one of the facilities, however, were not eligible for the benefits.

The benefits were only for retired individuals and did not include the poor. Soon after the signing of the bill, homes were opened for those who had income, such as Social Security, with the mindset that the home’s proprietors could benefit from the payments.

Government Regulations Taking Effect

In the mid-1950s, the government took a stand against those homes which were taking money from the residents, yet care was rated very poor. The government passed a bill that required all such facilities to be licensed through the government.

In that case, not only did the proprietors make a substantial income, the government would benefit from the cost of licensing a vast number of “old folks homes.”

During the 1960s, the government passed the Moss Amendment after a mass nursing home scandal broke out in New York State. The Moss Amendment was to prohibit below-level standards of care and stop fraudulent activities.

After several years of investigation, Medicare was initiated in 1969, a program established to assist those who were on Social Security, met the low-income standard and were either elderly or handicapped.

Again, in 1971, the government became involved with the nursing homes, which were no longer a welfare system but, due to the licensing process, considered to be part of the health care system, and modeled after a hospital setting.

The care received in nursing homes was supposed to be the same quality that a patient gets in a hospital. However, due to the many scandals that once again took place in the seventies, it seemed that government involvement had not improved the establishments’ bad habits but gave them an even greater opportunity to play a fraudulent game with the resident’s Medicare and Social Security benefits.

Why do elderly not like nursing homes?

Balancing Finances for Care

Today, in modern nursing home facilities, the government has cut Medicare payments to homes, allowing them only a percentage of the patient’s income. The homes are paid according to the Balanced Budget Act.

The patient, by no means, gets the greater part. The residents are permitted to have $1,500.00 in their personal accounts that are in the nursing home banks. Should that amount exceed that which is allowed, the patient’s family must do a “spend-down” to bring the account back to an allotted amount of that mentioned.

It is often difficult to spend a large amount of money on those who are confined to a nursing home. However, if the payment is not spent on the resident, with receipted proof, the state acquires the money at the time of the patient’s death.

7 Ways to Choose a Nursing Home

This can be a very difficult step for both you AND your aging parent. We have a checklist for you to help make the process a little easier.

Nursing home checklist

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Make Sure You Oversee Things

Over the years, since the poor house syndrome, many things have changed as far as modern daycare, building appearance, and food. However, even though there have been stricter laws applied, the nursing staff does not give much better care in the days past. The rate of nursing home abuse and neglect is astronomical. Most modern-day facilities are understaffed, and lacking in heartfelt compassion.

To many who work as nurses and nurses aides, it is nothing more than an eight-hour job. Constant observation from family members is imperative. Notice any unusual behavior the patient may have. Check their skin for bruises.

It is our responsibility to report unexpected “falls” or bruises that happen too often. Reporting incidents to the nursing home is not always the best option. It may become necessary to report to a local Ombudsman organization if mistreatment is suspected.

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Can You Claim Someone As A Dependent If They Are On Social Security? 

There are so many things to consider when it comes to your parents and their well-being. You want to ensure that everything you do is in their best interest and will not affect them in the long run. As such, many persons have asked the question of whether they can Claim Someone As A Dependent If They Are On Social Security.

Can You Claim Someone As A Dependent If They Are On Social Security cover picture

Well, claiming social security by itself is not a complicated task. It does not have the potential to affect your ineligibility to be claimed by someone else on their tax return.

Can You Claim Someone As A Dependent If They Are On Social Security?

However, to claim someone as a dependent, they must meet the requirements stipulated by the IRS as well as other conditions. The IRS does mandate that for one to be added as a dependent, they must not earn a certain amount of income (which changes each year) to include assistance from direct sources like an outside job or family and friends.

If the person meets the guide, they will be able to be claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return. But how does it work? The IRS takes into consideration multiple sources of earning as an income, and as such, one has to be careful how they approach in applying for someone to become dependent.

If the person is making more than is set, parts of their social security may become taxable. So, as a support, you may want to consider limiting the amounts of funding you give, so it doesn’t affect their overall benefits.

However, one who claims Social Security disability pay may not be exempt from becoming dependent; however, there are specific rules which must be followed.

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Does my aging parent qualify

Can I Claim My Aging Parent As A Dependent?

The answer is both yes and no. You can claim your parents as dependents but only according to the guidelines stipulated by the IRS. If you are going to claim your parents, you have to ensure they are not dependent on another person’s tax returns.

First of all, there must be a dependency relationship between you and your parent in the sense that you cater to a part of their well-being by providing financial support, housing, or other care.

How much do you get for claiming a parent on taxes

They can naturally be deemed dependent if they rely on someone to help them get by, which means you could benefit from extra returns when you claim. So, once both you and your parent qualify according to the standards, you can start the process to apply for them as a dependent.

But how can your parents qualify for dependency? They should:

  • Not earn above the threshold set by the IRS in terms of gross annual income. This amount is set by the IRS and may change each year or as they wish. You may find the yearly threshold on their website.
  • Even though Social Security may not be considered an income, there is still restriction when it comes to earning a certain amount from other sources, which can also be in the form of financial funding from family and friends.
  • Earn more than half their yearly income and support from you before they can be added as a dependent. Also, the support you provide must be at least one dollar more than your parents’ base income.

    The support can be covered by many different factors, such as housing (how much the market share of the house is).

    Also, the cost may be incurred through food provision, utilities, medical, and other living expenses. An additional benefit for you comes in the form of claiming medical expenses if you had covered their medical care cost.
Can I Claim My Aging Parent As A Dependent?

Your parents may also automatically qualify if they are physically or mentally challenged and is unable to provide for themselves. For further clarification on how to Claim Someone As A Dependent If They Are On Social Security, you can check with the IRS website as the requirements and guidelines change.

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What You Need to do When Moving in an Aging Parent

People will inevitably get old if life doesn’t decide otherwise before then. As such, certain things will happen as the elderly transition from one phase of their lives to the next. Of course, it is not the easiest thing as many people have lived their lives a certain way and then now have restrictions on what they can do, eat, or even where they can go. While they may not be ready for a nursing home, or have funds available for a senior community, moving them into your own home may be the best option. When Moving in an Aging Parent, there are many things to consider and prepare for.

What You Need to do When Moving in an Aging Parent cover photo

But, as the days roll in, children are the ones who have to make most of the decisions, and one of these includes having your parents move in with you. Most children prefer if their parents don’t live alone and whether they take them in or put them in a shelter, as long as they have someone to look after them, it is okay.

When Moving in an Aging Parent

However, there are so many things to consider when you plan to move them in with you. You may need to:

* Make Your Home Handicap-proof

Most older adults have to move around with assistance, so having your home altered to suit their needs is the best. There are multiple ways to handicap-proof your home, such as: 

Installing stairs or wall rails.

Going up the stairs may be a struggle for them, so adding rails will give them ease of movement and more stability in going up and down. Also, wall rails will help to provide balance as they move around the house.

How do I move my elderly parent?

Shower bars.

This tip is, by far, one of the most important features to implement as they tend to be scared to use the shower in fear of falling. The shower grab bars provide some level of security in knowing they have something to hold on to in case they may slip.

Get elevated toilet seats.

Bending can be a major issue for most older adults, and as such, reducing the chances of this is best. Elevated toilet seats will enable them to access bathroom facilities without having any fears easily.

Being careful with throw rugs.

We understand that you want to have the best indoor decor, but bear in mind, you now have an older person living with you. The rugs can be an issue if not careful as they can cause slippage and other dangerous actions. If you must have rugs, it is best to buy non-skid kinds. 

* When Moving in an Aging Parent Incorporate their Their Items Where Possible

The best way you can get them to fit in comfortably is to have a few items they own around them like a piece of furniture or some other physical items. When they have access to some of their things around them, they will feel at home even though it is a new environment.

They will be able to settle in quicker and easier as they will sense that level of trust and comfort and knows how to handle what they are used to. Also, you can start by taking their bed (if possible) as well as a few other items like utensils, sheets, or even cushions. At their age, it will not be so easy to adjust to everything new and cause more issues in them not wanting to move in.

How do I cope with my elderly parents moving in?

* Set Limited Rules, But With Caution

When Moving in an Aging Parent, this can be a tough issue to consider. After all, as their kid, it is hard to take on the role of the parent. You may want to set some rules with limits but ensure you don’t impose too much on your aging parents’ privacy for freedom. Bear in mind, they don’t usually sit well with being treated like children, so you want to consider their feelings as well.

Of course, everyone in the home will have new or adjusted rules to work efficiently with the permanent change now in effect. You can implement rules such as for your parents, such as:

  • Being able to go out but with supervision.
  • Friends may be allowed (senior citizen friends from the previous hometown), but some activities may be supervised.
  • Someone will always be at home with them (even though they would prefer to stay home alone).
  • No access to anything flammable (cooking not allowed, someone has to light the fireplace if needed, etc.)

Other occupants’ rules may include changing their schedules to accommodate the adjustments. They will be assigned certain roles like taking them out, assisting them with doing their various tasks, and more. Once again, bear in mind never to treat them like a child, they may get negative with such actions.

What You Need to do When Moving in an Aging Parent
Nothing says “I really want you here” like making their bedroom as welcoming as possible. Get our FREE Printable here:

* When Moving in an Aging Parent Your Life Will Change

Before taking your parents in, you must ensure you do your relevant research and make the necessary preparations to accommodate them. When they come home, your life, in general, will change as your schedule will get altered, and your expenses will increase (rapidly in some cases).

Their diet may be different from yours, so you will have to increase the amount you spend on food each month. Also, the utilities will increase as they will have to use the air conditioning more often, the heater will have to be on as well, and other electrically-used appliances will be added to the monthly bills.

Depending on where you live, they may be further from their medical center, so that means more gas and potentially more medical expenses. To better manage these financial changes, you will have to rearrange your budget and, where possible, include the entire household budget to match the changes.

Consider too that your time will have to be spent more strictly. You may have to put off some of the yearly vacation plans until you settling in with the changes better.

If you are unable to accommodate them and you feel hiring help will be cheaper, you can let them stay home with the live-in assistance and visit while you can. It is no joke as their health and well-being will be completely in your hands, and the plans you make will impact them positively or negatively.

Also, you have to plan ahead of time so you can make the physical changes to accommodate, get public education on their potential illnesses, so you know what measures to take in handling them.

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Great Checklist for Elderly Living Alone

The mere thought of having your elderly parents live alone is mind-boggling and makes you cringe. They get so vulnerable that you fear for them every step they make. Sure enough, they always want to maintain their pride in living alone, and as humans and adults, we have to respect their decisions. It is hard to find a checklist for elderly living alone that lets us know what warning signs to look for.

Checklist for Elderly Living Alone

However, there will come a time when you have to override their choice and make a choice to have them around longer than you can imagine. As you check in on them daily and ensure everything is up to par, there are sure signs you will realize that will make you take a step forward.

Checklist for Elderly Living Alone

Though living alone gives aging parents the independence they need, these signs are what will allow you to see they no longer can:

* Their home is dirty – Which was never the case

We all know our parents and how timid they get when they see a dirty glass in the sink. They never want to know there is any dirty laundry in the house or a dirty dish nor some dust on the center table in the sitting room. The need to clean is always one of their main priorities, so if you realize the opposite while they live alone, it is time to step in and do something.

A dirty house is a clear signal that they can no longer manage to be on their own as mere cleaning has become a struggle for them. They never allow trash to pile up, yet it is that way now, or the general setting of the house is untidy. You want to focus on their health, and a messy environment will never contribute anything good. It is probably time to consider moving them out, you move back in, or getting a live-in help to get things done around the house.

It also becomes a health hazard as unwanted pests are attracted to a physical mess. If your parent has failing vision? They won’t see the bugs in their box of cereal, or little friends that are all around the couch cushions that they like to snack on. I speak from experience here – sadly.

* Hygiene is Deteriorating

If you notice their hygiene is on a downward spiral, then you should realize it is time to get help for them. Their overall physical person is unclean, they probably smell, they wear dirty clothes, or don’t shower a lot because they are scared they may fall in the shower. These are more than enough signs to get you moving for their assistance.

How can you tell when an elderly person can't live alone?

It is important at their age to maintain proper hygiene as their immune system, and general health is not as strong as it used to be. They may become susceptible to health conditions that will develop into something more serious over time.

* They Have a Fall

This is kind of a “gimme” for your Checklist for Elderly Living Alone. If you are at work and you get a call from the hospital or medical center that your parents were rushed in because they had a fall, you don’t need any other sign. Even on their own, if they have too many cases of reported falls (from emergency records), they will be placed in assisted care to reduce the risk of them hurting themselves further.

Falling from stairs or in the shower is critical, as countless amounts of times we have seen devastating news of older adults were found dead because no one was around. Even things just lying around, or the edges of that area rug can be their nemesis.

At their age, it is not so easy to repair bones and muscles, so you want to eliminate the chances of having to deal with a life-long issue of critical care and attention. Sadly, one bad fall usually spirals into a rapid health decline.

Don’t want until a tragedy as this happens before realizing you need to get them help, move them out, or you probably move in – whichever is easier.

Can social services remove an elderly person from their home?

* Weight Fluctuation  

This is one of the clearest signs to see that something is wrong, and you need to pay closer attention to your elderly parents. When you notice their weight fluctuates in terms of them becoming too slim, it is either:

  • they forgot to eat
  • are not hungry
  • have no appetite to eat
  • they don’t want to cook for just themself
  • they are afraid to tell you they started a small fire when trying to cook

On the flip side, when they gain too much weight, it is also a need for concerns as they may be eating unhealthy foods or possibly overeating. Medical conditions can also be a factor that contributes to their weight inefficiencies. You will have to dedicate some time to get them assessed to see what is going on and know what decisions to take going forward.

* They No Longer See Clearly

Aging comes with a failing vision for most people, and it may not necessarily be associated with any illness or disease. It could be diabetes-related, or macular degeneration even. When they complain of not being able to see the figure clearly on their bills or can no longer read the morning paper, then it is time to get someone else in the home.

Failing to see is a recipe for disaster as not only are their lives are put in danger with not seeing around them, but they may end up taking the wrong medications as well.

Every too often, elderly adults have to be rushed in for medical assessment because they took the wrong medication, or they mixed up their medication. Don’t only consider getting them a daily medication planner because if they can’t see the “days on the kit” clearly, it will still be an issue. Get help for them as they should not be living alone at this stage.

* Multiple Medications

If they reach the stage where they have to take multiple medications in a given day, they should not be living alone. Not only that, they may mix the pills, but with memory loss, they will think they already took it or take it again and overdose.

They should have someone to monitor their taking times and help to organize them efficiently. Medications are complicated, and we all know this, and one error can be dangerous and end terribly. 

How can elderly live independently?

There are so many other signs you need to look for to determine it is best not to have your parents living alone like:

  • They wander a lot – If they go out and take longer to reach home because they lost their way (in a familiar town), then you should not let them be alone.
  • Memory Loss – If they can’t remember simple things easily like recognizing colors, then it is dangerous to have them living alone. Just like failing vision, and fear, memory is also a feature of getting old.  

The bottom line? It is important to watch for the signs so you can stay on top of things. All of these little areas add up to a loved one who needs help to be safe and live out their lives with grace.

how to help seniors live safely alone

I have a FREE Printable Great Checklist for Elderly Living Alone that you can get right here:

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The Best Tips for Downsizing for Seniors

As your parents get older, there are so many things you will need to consider in helping them to adjust and cope with the necessary changes. Every too often, they are placed in situations where they get confused, troubled, or uneasy because of the possible overwhelming realities they are faced with. But, when they are adjusting to the new life, there is one crucial concept to consider – downsizing. Here are our Tips for Downsizing for Seniors.

Tips for Downsizing for Seniors cover photo

It may seem like a simple task, but when you have to take care of it, it goes far beyond what you had imagined. Downsizing can be an emotional and technical feat as it involves separating them from what they have grown to know and love.

Tips for Downsizing for Seniors

Like the rocking chair in the corner of the living room that no longer works, why is it even there? The rolled-up rug laying against the wall that has a few large holes in it when you open it up to look at it? The frozen canister of donuts that hides in the back of the freezer?

Your aging parents may have gotten attached to those items, and taking them away can hurt them emotionally and psychologically. But, with so much stuff going on around them and all they have to deal with, what are some of the best ways to get through it?

How To Help them Downsize

First of all, your approach cannot be overbearing because they are now vulnerable and don’t fully understand everything that is going on. You have to approach with caution. Here are some effective ways to work through helping them to downsize:

* Treat them with Respect – Remember they are adults

This is perhaps the most important item when looking at Tips for Downsizing for Seniors. They might have become vulnerable, slow, and don’t move as swiftly as they used to but that doesn’t mean you should treat them as less than a person.

Bear in mind they have feelings and experience emotions as well, so how you deal with them says everything. At this critical stage of their lives, they may have trust issues even if they have lived with you for the longest while.

Many psychological diseases affect them as they get older, so don’t underestimate the fact that they may truly not recognize who you are. As such, when you deal with them, ensure respect stands above everything else, and you will see them warming up to you much easier.

They may do some silly things without realizing it, so don’t use this as an avenue to be hard on them. You have first to understand what is going on so you can know how to deal with any situation that presents itself.

* Dealing with them as a Hoarder

This is one of the most critical stages of helping your aging family to downsize, as it will not be easy to separate them from their belongings. You have to help them understand the importance of giving up some stuff and the benefits it will have for them.

Also, being that they rely mostly on younger family members, you have to consider if it is affecting your functionality as well. Storing it is not the answer and will only create more work for future days.

When you rent a storage facility to house excess items, you will realize it costs you time, money, and some extra space you could use for something else. Get rid of the stuff now, if it has to go.

How can I help seniors downsize?

* Have Multiple Discussion Sessions

You will never get all the information and details across to aging family members in one session, and as such, you have to often break it down it into multiple sessions. You may want to focus on one topic per session to help them analyze and understand what is happening.

Take, for instance, when you choose to discuss their finances, ensure no other topics are discussed with it as finance by itself is a critical topic. Sessions should be best described as “bite-size sessions” and be done when they are most comfortable to talk.

* Move Your Stuff to Your own House

This is probably one of the easiest of our Tips for Downsizing for Seniors. If the children or grandchildren have anything hanging around their parents’ home, now would be the best time to take them to their own houses. This will lessen the pressure of having aging parents look over too much stuff that is not theirs.

Think of the sports trophies, beer can collection, high school paraphernalia, even if it is just small documents, it is best to take them away. If you no longer want those items, dispose of them yourself instead of making them part of the larger project.

* Keep Vintage Items

Elderly family members are always happy when their antiques stick around in the family as it gives them a sense of love and devotion. While going through their homes, check for all those items which can be passed on to a family member such as that special crockpot in the cupboard, an old piano, some jewelry, or special childhood books.

I am not talking about splitting up Mom’s jewelry box or taking things dad uses daily, I am referring to that item that always goes on the fireplace mantle at Christmas, or things that aren’t being used.

If it is a case where they prefer to have it around, you can consider leaving so as not to affect them emotionally and psychologically, as they may be connected to it.

* Rid the House of Unwanted Items

Do you ever stop to realize that most older adults never like to throw anything out? It doesn’t mean that they lived through the Great Depression, but they came from an area of reusing and repurposing items. Everything had a future use.

Well, it might surprise you that there are more than 20 plastic cake or fruit domes in the cupboard and not serving any purpose. Throw them out! Also, going around, check to see what other items are of no value and take them out. Create a sense of “lightness” for their environment.

Whether you want to believe it or not, there is countless stuff your aging parents may have stored up that needs to be thrown out. From the extra worn-out newspaper that cannot be used again to that old chair that cannot be repaired – take them out.

You might be surprised when you start digging through this area – we used 1-800-GOT-JUNK to take a huge load away.

30 Days Declutter Challege

30 Days Declutter Challege
We whipped up a little 30-day activity to help you with down-sizing, one day at a time. Get your FREE printable copy here:

Great examples here are things I have dealt with in our own experiences:

  • A yard work sized bag of plastic cake domes from a grocery store bakers
  • Said rug I mentioned that wasn’t really usable
  • Gallon sized Ziploc bags full of blue plastic cutlery from Culver’s visits
  • 11 closets full of clothes
  • 23 boxes of recipes clipped out of newspapers or magazines and whole recipe magazines
  • 122 pairs of shoes
  • Greeting cards, boxes of them that they had received over 50 years
Why do seniors downsize?

* Consider Donating

This one can come with tax benefits! When taking over our Tips for Downsizing for Seniors. There are so many items that can be donated, so you may want to consider this option when helping your aging parents to downsize.

Countless charities would do well with a few pieces of clothing, or a piece of furniture like an extra dresser or just about any other stuff. However, before you take any of those items to a charity station, discuss with your parents why you are taking it, and if they can help to choose the charity too, it would be good. Make sure you get a receipt of your donation!

Excellent charities to consider:

  • Hospice Thrift Store
  • Goodwill
  • Saint Vincent’s

* KonMarie the Other Items

Do you see any other physical item in the home that does not bring joy or enhance the lives of your aging parents? Then, the best bet is to get them out. This process creates the opportunity for proper organization of your space and makes your space much more enticing and comforting.

After all, the need to have a stress-free home is the best thing you can give your parents at this vulnerable stage in their life.

They depend on you to help them transition into the next stage of their lives, and downsizing is one of the most critical stages. They depend on you, but that does not mean leaving them out of decision-making. Let them help! 

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How To Manage Financial Care For Elderly Parents

Learn how to financially provide and care for aging parents without facing a monetary hardship or setback. Financial Care For Elderly is a basic necessity that you need to understand.

How To Manage Financial Care For Elderly Parents

Many people are responsible for the care of their aging parents. Whether by circumstance or personal choice, being accountable for the supervision of a parent(s) is a substantial personal and financial responsibility. Here are several tips and words of advice to help those who love and care for aging parents in need.

Parental Care Tips and Advice

One of the most important roles a person can play in the life of an aging parent is knowing when to intervene. When it becomes evident that a parent is no longer able to take care of himself or herself adequately, intervention is vital. Learn how to discuss the situation with the loved one, and let that individual know help is warranted out of love, not contempt.

Understand and know where the parent keeps vital personal information. With all the necessary paperwork and proper knowledge, one can know how to proceed and what actions need to be taken. Does the parent have a will? Does the parent have military records? Those are just some of the critical documents required by the caregiver.

Once the need for medical care has been established, it’s essential to determine and decide what type of care is required. If the parent can live alone, make a point to know if financial and medical needs are being handled.

Are the bills being paid? Are proper prescriptions being filled? Is the house safe in case of an emergency, such as a fall? Is home nursing care needed?

Make sure all the ground is covered, and if any need is not being met, make the proper inquiries. Give your parent peace of mind knowing everything is under control financially, and their safety and medical needs are being handled.

Assisted Living and Nursing Home Care

If the situation requires care that can’t be met at home, the parent may need assisted living to meet specific care needs. Many people can’t afford to have a parent live with them, so assisted living is always an option.

Financial Care For Elderly spreadsheet

Understand the medical needs of the parent, and place that individual in the level of care that coincides with the demands. Scout various assisted living facilities for the proper atmosphere, care, and social activity setting that best caters to the loved one. Help the parent feel “at home” even though the new surroundings are unfamiliar.

The family needs to understand the cost of assisted living. Medicare does not pay for assisted living, so the financial requirements fall at the feet of the family.

Understand the contract and the obligations that are expected. Never agree or sign the contract without knowing the options and establishing a financial plan to cover the cost of assisted living.

When a parent reaches the stage where more extensive care is needed, a nursing home is an option. As with the assisted living process, it’s vital to scout various nursing homes and understand the cost and options.

Nursing facilities can be costly, so make sure the financial means are there before placing a loved one in a nursing facility. Medicare may cover certain costs, but don’t expect this to cover all medical and personal health needs.

Financial Care For Elderly Ways to Save Money

Before considering any of the above options, make a plan. Understand personal financial obligations, and “tweak” any payment plans on the home, car, etc. By taking advantage of various payment options, money can be saved.

Financial Care For Elderly checklist

We whipped up a checklist for you – to help make this task a lot easier! Get your FREE Printable here:

Once again, Medicare can help, but it’s essential to make a plan and not entirely rely on government assistance. Parental help is needed when a loved one requires financial and medical care, but it’s important to know when to intervene and when to step aside. Never be afraid to ask for financial assistance from the extended family or friends of the family.

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