They say that life is cyclical, and that is also the case with you and your parents. Our mother and father take care of us when we are born and when they reach their elder years, we start taking care of them. We all know this, but we don’t always know when the best time is for us to jump in and start taking over. Here at Elville and Associates, we are here to help. We know how important it is to care for our elders, so we have some advice on signs that it is time to help and the best ways to do so.
Watch the Signs
When your parents reach a certain age, it is a good idea to visit them on a regular basis to check in and say hello. When you do so, if you notice signs that their housekeeping isn’t up to par, the yard has been ignored, and or you notice new stains and dirt on the furniture, it is time to start asking questions.
While paying attention to the home is essential, it is more important to think about your parent’s personal appearance as well. If you notice significant weight loss, then that is a telltale sign that they don’t have the capacity to take care of themselves. Also, pay attention to their hygiene. If they don’t appear to be bathing, that is a red flag.
Last but not least, keep an eye out for sudden outbursts of anger, especially when they are unprovoked. Unnecessary anger can be a sign of cognitive decline, including dementia or Alzheimer’s disease according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
If the signs show that you need to intervene, then you can move into the home, buy them a new property, hire in-home health care or place them in an assisted living home. For in-home care service, it’s important to find an agency that matches your budget but who can also provide a caregiver your parent will “click” with.
If you do decide on the eldercare facility, then know that the process will be very costly, so you will need to factor your budget into the equation. Many people opt to sell the parent’s house and use the proceeds to help pay for care. On the good side, you can be confident that your parents will receive the care that they need to live a productive life during their later years.
When choosing to move into their house instead, make sure to make a plan and talk it over with your parents so they are not caught off guard. Also, AgingCare.com advises making sure that you manage your stress properly so you don’t have outbursts of your own. Moving can be stressful enough, especially if you’re self-employed, as taking time off is more difficult.
For those who decide to buy a new home, you’ll need to look at how much you can afford. To do so, you’ll need to learn what you owe and what you’ll have left over. You can use a debt-to-income calculator to make quick work of this decision so you know the best way to proceed.
Whether you move in or not, there are likely improvements that you can make to your family member’s home to make it more safe and secure. So, if they struggle to get up and down the stairs, consider installing a ramp, or if they have trouble seeing, you may want to add brighter, LED lighting.
For many repairs, professional contractors can provide the services you need. They can do anything from fixing up floors and walls to repairing roofs so your parents don’t have to worry about leaks. A common issue in many older homes is faulty windows that prevent energy efficiency and leak in cold air.
As a tip, before you hire any contractor, make sure to do your due diligence so you get the best deal. Start with an online search for window repair pros, then look through the options, reading customer reviews as you go. Make sure to ask for quotes and see what fits your budget. Your final decision should be affordable and highly recommended.
As you can see, there are several considerations that you need to make when it comes to caring for your parents in your elder years. By taking time to carefully review the options, you’ll feel better about making the right decision.
The elder law attorneys at Elville and Associates are here to guide you through matters that arise as your parents age, be they pre-crisis or crisis situations, through client education, collaboration, and compassion. Contact us today to set a consultation with one of our elder law attorneys to discuss your family’s needs so we can help you navigate through your situation and create a path forward.