Many elderly family members want to stay in their homes for as long as possible but may not have the means to do so. Walking this tightrope requires a robust support system and a keen understanding of what can make or break an ageing parent’s desire to stay put.
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) suggests that it is essential for elderly adults to commit to remaining in their homes, as this decision will affect many other aspects of their lives.
The following will provide an overview of the critical factors that social workers should consider when assisting elderly family members with their decision to remain in their homes.
Maintain a strong support system
Older adults need to maintain a sound support system. Many elderly individuals do not realize how much they have benefitted from the many years they spent in the life of a family until that family no longer exists.
There is a great deal of comfort knowing that there are people who will help and support them in their old age.
An older adult should never be ashamed to ask for help from loved ones when they need it. When it comes to caring for elderly loved ones in their homes, often the most important factor has been the ability to keep the elder loved one in their home. With resources like shower chairs, it’s possible to do this. The right shower chair can prevent getting an elder loved one out of bed or sitting/lying to them when they are in need of care. As well as easing the needs of older loved ones who might be experiencing swelling in their legs.
Communicate with family members
An elderly individual need to make their wishes known to their children and grandchildren. Doing this will eliminate any confusion about what the elderly individual would like to see done.
This will also help reduce the stress of any decision made about a parent’s care.
Understand the costs of long-term care
It is essential to understand all the costs involved in caring for an elderly loved one, both today and in the future. These costs will often include medical expenses, prescription medication, and rehabilitation services.
The financial costs associated with long-term care can pose a significant burden for younger family members. They need to learn about their parent’s assets and how long it will take them to deplete these assets before applying for Medicaid.
It is also essential to be aware of any long-term care insurance that may be available to them. Medicaid will not pay for long-term care expenses. However, many other options can be pursued, including the use of a trust or estate planning services.
Discuss the elderly loved one’s quality of life
It is essential to discuss with family members what the elderly individual will do for themselves and what they may need to rely on others for. This can help to determine if the elderly individual will need home care.
Many older people want to remain in their homes for as long as possible. This is important as it provides these individuals with their sense of independence and dignity.
However, it is crucial to ensure that their quality of life remains good, and any safety concerns have been addressed. Doing this can help to avoid the need for nursing home placement.
Explore home modifications
It is also essential to explore all options for home modifications. A social worker can help elderly family members evaluate all the options and decide what is best for their loved ones. There more than likely will need to be some modifications made to their home to meet the needs of their elderly loved ones.
This can include changes to the bathroom and bedroom. These modifications can help to alleviate any concerns that were raised about the safety of an older adult.
Many other things can be done to help those who are ageing and struggling with their decision to remain in their home.
Social workers can help those they serve by providing them with the information and education they need to make the best decisions possible.
Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.
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