It is probably one of the most difficult realizations adult children encounter: their aging parents are starting to have difficulty caring for their own needs. This awareness might come on gradually as you visit and notice that houseplants are dying, spoiled food is in the fridge or important bills or other mail goes unanswered. Sometimes the realization hits suddenly during an illness or injury. One way or the other, most of us will have to face the task of finding a senior care agency to provide senior care services to help our aging loved ones spend their golden years with as much independence and dignity as possible.
If you can, it is best to face the question of senior care services before they are needed. That gives you and your aging loved ones time to discuss matters and come to a solution that everyone can live with. Take the time now to talk with your parents about a trusted senior care agency and discuss what kind of senior care services they might need and want, and what the family can afford. It might be a hard topic to bring up, but it is far better to do it now rather than wait until an emergency occurs, or a degenerative disease strikes—rush decisions could end up costing your family precious time, money and quality of life.
Some signs that it might be time to discuss senior care services with your family include:
- Deteriorating health and wellness
- Mobility problems (a hard time going up and down stairs or getting up from a sitting position)
- Hearing or vision loss
- Dying houseplants, yard work piling up, other chores not being done to the normal standards
- Falling behind on paperwork or bills
- Missing appointments
- Expired foods or medications in the cupboards
- Burning meals
- Fridge full of rotting food or mold
These are all signs that it may be time to bridge the subject of bringing in help. If you are not sure how to start the conversation with your loved ones, the At Home Personal Care team has suggestions and ideas to make the discussion go more smoothly. Our senior care agency works with people all the time on this issue.
There are some important points to remember about starting the conversation about senior care services:
- Set aside a quiet, un-distracted time when everyone can talk calmly and openly.
- Even if your parents are struggling with health issues or the ability to think or communicate clearly, remember: they are still adults who have opinions, feelings and ideas. They still want to be able to make decisions for themselves and have as much autonomy as possible. Talk with them—not at them. Listen. If you are well prepared and you listen with an open heart, these conversations can become precious experiences between you and your loved ones.
- If a condition such as Alzheimer’s has set in, try as best as you can to honor what you believe your parent’s wishes would be.
- Sometimes a frank discussion can be brought up in natural conversation or with a gentle question. You can ask them how their last doctor’s appointment went, or if they need any help with the yard work. If you notice any of the aforementioned signs, you might bring those up in natural conversation and segue gently into a discussion of senior care services.
- Even if your parents are still active, sharp and vivacious, once they are approaching 70, it is a good idea to have these conversations so that everyone knows what your loved ones desire and expect in the event that calling in a senior care agency becomes necessary. Do not leave them to the last minute, or wait until an emergency forces the conversation, or until your loved one is unable to speak for themselves.
We understand this is a hard conversation to have. At Home Personal Care Services LLC is ready to help. Our compassionate, experienced team is are accredited by CHAPS and licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Department of Health and not only provides the highest standards in senior care services—we provide the listening ear and advice you need, when you need it. Call us today at (703) 330-2323 for assistance.