It can be one of the hardest decisions a child will ever make and broaching the topic of moving an aging parent or loved one into a nursing home or assisted living isn’t much easier.
This time of year brings families together over the holidays; it’s a time for laughter and making memories. According to Caring.com, it’s also a time more calls are made to nursing homes and assisted living centers, as adult children may be seeing their aging parents for the first time in months and are hit with the realization it’s no longer safe for their loved one to stay at home. The website shares an article 11 Signs It Might Be Time For Assisted Living to help you spot the signs that it might be time to talk about moving an aging parent.
We caught up with two women who needed extra care. Each woman made a decision that led them down very different paths, but with the same result – living a healthy, happy, full life. “Muff” Powell chose to live in her own apartment with the help of the Kissito PACE program.
“I didn’t want to go anywhere else to stay the rest of my life. I don’t want to do that until I have to,” says Muff.
Barbara Fuller, chose to move into an assisted living facility at Friendship. She says it was scary at first. “The first few days it was kind of uncomfortable, because I had to get used to people. I had to start speaking and we started talking and it got better. Now I have buddies. We got out and do the same things. So there’s always somebody.”
Mary Beth Boyes, a gerontologist in Roanoke, says finances and medical needs are important pieces of information as you start the conversation. She says it’s imperative you truly listen, and make sure to empower the senior by making them a part of the final decision, so everyone is comfortable.
“We are really lucky, here in the Roanoke Valley, to have a lot of options. We have 20% of our population over 65, which is higher than the national average. Because of that we have a lot of good options from home health to maybe transportation services to get somebody to and from medical appointments. We have Meals on Wheels where you can bring meals into the home. We have independent livings, assisted livings, nursing homes, then the PACE program and also hospice companies. Some of them are financially based and some are not, so having a good idea of the financial options a person might have and go from there is really important too, because some people may not be able to afford a very nice independent living and some people will.”
To get more information on the various services offered in our area, you can go to the Virginia Division For The Aging website. There, you can find the Virginia Easy Access portal, where you can find the Financial Help page as well as other assistance programs.
You can also contact the Local Office on Aging with any questions, as you search for the best options for aging loved one.
As you research the best options for an aging loved one, there is also a lot of support for caregivers. For example, Carilion offers a caregiver support group the 4th Thursday of every month. For more information, you can call Carilion’s Center for Healthy Aging at 540-981-7653.