Monthly Archives: May 2016

When is it Unsafe for Loved Ones to Live at Home?

We all want our loved ones to remain safe and healthy in their retirement years.  It should be a time for them to enjoy the freedom and independence that comes as a reward for a lifetime of hard work and dedication.  According to AARP, nearly 90% of people over age 65 want to enjoy their retirement from the comfort of their own home.  For those dealing with physical ailments and responsibilities of home maintenance, living at home can sometimes be more of a danger than a benefit.

_K0C7052What to look for

Apart from the outward appearance of loneliness and isolation that is often brought on by living alone, what other warning signs should a loved one be on the lookout for?

  1. How are they eating? Stop by for a meal with your loved ones periodically.  While you are there, have a look in their refrigerator and their pantry.  Do you see fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, eggs etc?  Or do you see a lot of processed foods, soda pop, sugary breakfast cereal, and instant dinners?  If so, this could be a sign that dietary needs are not being properly met and they could benefit from the balanced diet provided in a retirement community setting.
  2. How clean and well-maintained is the house? If the lawn and landscaping is unkempt, or if the inside of the house is cluttered and disorganized, this could also be a warning sign.  Aging loved-ones who struggle with maintaining their homes are at risk for injury that could result in hospitalization.  They could benefit immensely from a retirement community setting where the maintenance is provided for them and the environment is free from injury-causing hazards.
  3. Is forgetfulness becoming an issue? If you notice that your loved ones are often confused, or more forgetful than they used to be, they may be at risk.  Many things can cause forgetfulness including poor nutrition and mismanagement of medications.  In a retirement community setting, they not only receive balanced meals, but they can also get help to ensure that medications are taken when needed and in the right dosages.

A little help goes a long way

The Administration on Aging reports that an estimated 12% of seniors age 65 and older – more than 5 million in total – need some type of assistance with long-term care to perform activities of daily living.  If your loved ones are among this group, take heart!  There are many options available – many of which can make their retired years healthier and happier.

Spend some time researching senior living communities.  Get to know the options available in your area.  This will help prepare you to talk to your loved ones about a possible move.  If you have additional questions about what a senior living community brings to the table, Primrose would be honored to assist you.  Just visit www.primroseretirement.com for additional information.

When Siblings Disagree About Senior Care

Caring for an aging loved one can be one of the most stressful things to happen to a family.  The experience is often physically, emotionally, and financially draining.  When there are multiple siblings involved, disagreements can rear their ugly heads.  The good news is that it doesn’t not have to be this way!  When cooler heads prevail and families set aside their differences to work together in the best interest of their loved ones, harmony can be re-established.  Here are some reasons why siblings disagree about senior care and some possible solutions:

  1. One siarticle-1206170-060B3503000005DC-513_468x286bling may be the primary caretaker

Often times, the sibling who lives closest to their parents is the one who does the lion’s share of the work.  This can lead to anger and resentment toward other siblings who can’t as conveniently help share the load.  In these situations, it is important that you share with your siblings the difficulties you are experiencing.  They may not understand the effect the situation is having on you.  If they are too far away to help with caretaking on a regular basis, perhaps they can help shoulder some of the financial load or come for a weekend and give you some time off.

  1. Siblings disagree about the level of care needed

There is always a chance, when there are multiple siblings, that not all will agree on the level of care that their parents’ need.  In this situation, there is always the option of having a needs assessment done in your parents’ home.  At Primrose, our Director of Nursing can perform this assessment in just a few minutes and share his or her recommendations.  This can be helpful in getting the family on the same page regarding care-related decisions.

  1. Finances

Unfortunately, disagreements amongst siblings about how finances should be utilized for their care can sometimes cause deep division within families.  Concerns about affordability of care or how the cost of care might impact the family inheritance may come to light.  All siblings should be encouraged to openly discuss their financial concerns before a care decision is made.  When adequate finances are lacking, the family may also want to discuss the feasibility of pooling their resources to help pay the costs for a senior living community.

Working through a loved one’s transition from home to a retirement community can be a positive experience for all involved.  Communication is the key.  Share your thoughts and concerns with your siblings.  Talk through the issues and work toward compromise that is in the best interest of your parents.  You will be glad you did.

If you have any further questions about the transition, we would be honored to assist you.  Just visit www.primroseretirement.com for more information.