Sunday, June 30, 2013

How do you decide that it is time for an assistive living facility for your parent?

There are many signs

My dear friend, Kay.
She told me that
when extra support at home was not enough,
they decided to move into long-term care.
I think it boils down to determining if your parent is able to be clean, safe, properly fed, clothed, and
able to manage medications, avoid falls or recover from them, and socialize.

We know what it takes to keep a loved one healthy. They must be able to manage their Activities of Daily Living (ADL) safely. They must be able to fulfill their daily, weekly, and other needs with limited or available support.

Yes, they would dearly love to be in their own home, but there are alternative arrangement where they can be safe, well-cared for, and kept entertained. There are assistive devices, extra support (housekeepers, hospice visitors, respite care, meals on wheels) that help, but do not resolve issues.
Of course, the more money you have, the better able you are to invest in these community home supports: people to maintain your home, cut lawns, clean, take you shopping.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you get phone calls in the night, demanding you come over and help your parent to their feet, and into bed? This is a slippery slope. The best predictor of falls are previous falls. They only get worse.
  • Do you spend all of your time housekeeping, shopping with them or for them?
  • Do you wade through the clutter, and believe s/he is hoarding. This indicates mental illness.
  • Are they well-groomed, and in clean clothes? 
  • Can they manage their property: house, apartment, garbage.
  • Is transportation an issue?
  • Can they manage medical appointments and their medications?
  • Are they safe in the bathroom? Have they fallen? Can they manage a bath or shower?
  • Are they safe operating appliances, such as the stove? 
  • Is the refrigerator full of stale or food gone bad?

I have a friend who would go over every Sunday afternoon and do her parent's laundry. She'd do their
Volunteers can assist with appointments
groceries, and house clean for them. It got to the point where she was stretched at both ends. When could she do her own housecleaning and laundry? She worked full-time.

The question is, what can you manage, to keep your parent in their home, without sacrificing your health, your family, and your energy?

This post was precipitated by an article:
When you really look at your parent, do you see the bright and vibrant person from years ago, or do you see a more limited person who needs some help one hour a day, or even around the clock?

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