As the baby boomers move into retirement, it’s common for these older adults to have trouble checking off the chores of daily life, such as cooking, cleaning, using medical equipment and more.
If your parents are struggling, it may be time to consider introducing some help. However, it’s important to keep their safety in mind while weighing out your options.
If your parents live near to you or feel especially attached to their home, you may consider bringing help. For those who require hospice care or are nearing a very late stage in life, moving to a new home also may not make sense.
However, it’s paramount to properly vet the in-home caregiver you are considering. Elder abuse is extremely unreported and can easily go unnoticed. Some experts predict at least 1 of every 10 elder adults has experienced some type of elder abuse. Other research suggests that financial abuse is often perpetrated by friends or family.
If you’re considering hiring a live-in nurse, make sure you are familiar with the different types of caregivers, along with what types of qualifications they have. Make sure to have private meetings with your parents to check in on how things are going and ensure the nurse cannot access your parent’s check book, credit card, personal information, estate plan, etc.
Assisted living communities are a great option for elder adults who are still independent. Depending on the home you choose, you may be able to increase or decrease the level of assisted care your parent receives. For example, some adults may only need help doing laundry and other cleaning. However, if they should need medical assistance in the future, it’s easily assessable.
One of the biggest advantages of these types of care facilities is the communal aspect. Elder adults with wide social groups are more likely to speak up if a situation of abuse occurs. For this reason, make sure to keep the sense of community at the establishment a top concern while viewing prospects. Ask about card clubs, brunches, game nights, party rooms, casino trips and more. Also, be sure to encourage your parents to take part in the community.
It can be difficult to tell the difference between assisted living and a nursing home. Nursing homes are very similar to assisted living, except that the assistance provided is usually constant and often requires more medical knowledge.
If it seems like your parent needs someone with him or her all of the time to stay safe, this may be the best option. Nursing homes, however, have a bad reputation for being much less social for this reason. Elder adults in these situations are also often vulnerable and can be taken advantage of by someone who is with them all of the time.
No matter which option you choose, it’s important to maintain consistent, private contact with your loved one to ensure you are able to see or hear about any instances of abuse. Should your parent fall victim to even one instance of any type of financial, verbal, physical or sexual abuse, take action immediately by calling an elder law attorney for help.