What Do You Do in the Event of an Emergency?
Consider This Scenario
Your father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s two years ago. Fortunately, your mother has stepped in as his primary caregiver, attending to his general care needs and guiding him patiently through his daily activities. As their only adult child residing nearby, you and your spouse make regular visits and are always ready to assist your mom when you can. However, the demands of your full-time jobs and the care of your own children, involved in various activities, make this a challenging responsibility.
Your family had expected that your mother would continue to care for your father until his Alzheimer’s progressed to the point where memory care assisted living in the nearby senior community was necessary.
However, while caring for your father, your mother had a fall and was taken to the hospital. The surgeon treating her broken hip has informed the family that she will be discharged after a few days; however, she will need to complete a prescribed regimen of rehabilitation lasting two to four weeks at a local facility before returning home. Additionally, upon her return, she won’t have the physical capacity to provide the same level of care for your father as she did before her injury.
Too often, families, like the one in the above scenario, find themselves in a state of crisis because they don’t plan beyond the initial diagnosis and care needs. Although they foresaw that their father would eventually need memory care assisted living, they neglected to establish a contingency plan if their initial arrangements became unfeasible.
What steps should be taken after the first responders, doctors, nurses, and physical therapists have performed their duties, and your family still finds itself in a state of crisis?
Assess the Situation
Take some time to understand the extent of your parents’ needs, including how much support they require, and what their immediate care needs are. You may need to speak with their doctors and therapists to fully understand their health conditions and how they are likely to progress.
Consider Care Options
Depending on your parents’ care needs, there may be a variety of options to explore, including home care, respite care, independent living, assisted living, memory care assisted living, and long-term care. It’s important to research these options carefully, considering the level of care provided, costs, and the quality of care. Remember, LivWell Seniors is here to help you learn about and consider your options.
Create a Care Plan
Once you have a clear understanding of your parents’ care needs and have explored care options, it’s time to create a care plan. This should outline who will provide care, what their specific responsibilities are, and how often care will be provided. Make sure to communicate this plan with all family members involved in your parents’ care.
Caring for aging parents can be a challenging and time-consuming task. Don’t be afraid to seek help from community resources such as senior centers, local support groups, or in-home care providers. These resources can provide valuable assistance and respite care to help alleviate the burden of caregiving. You may always reach out to LivWell Seniors for guidance and resources.
Keeping track of appointments, medications, and other caregiving responsibilities can be difficult. Consider using a caregiving app or organizing system to help you stay on top of everything.
Take Care of Yourself
Finally, it’s important to prioritize self-care during this time. Caring for aging parents can be emotionally and physically draining, so it’s important to take care of yourself to avoid burnout. Make sure to take time for yourself, practice self-care, and seek support when you need it.
We understand caring for aging parents can be a challenging and emotional experience, particularly when a family crisis occurs. By taking the time to assess your parents’ needs, explore care options, create a care plan, seek help, stay organized, and prioritize self-care, you can help your family navigate this difficult time.
Remember, it’s okay to ask for help and seek support when you need it. Don’t hesitate to reach out to LivWell Seniors anytime by clicking the phone icon located at the bottom right of the app. We’re happy to provide the guidance and assistance you need when making plans such as these, and we welcome your inquiries.