Long Term Care Decisions
Preplanning cremations is one of the cremation services offered in Sun City, AZ. That may be one of the long term care decisions you may have to deal with as your aging parents begin to have trouble living independently or need a lot of help to be able to age in place in their home.
There are many other decisions that you will need to work with your parents to make regarding their long term care. It’s important that your parents be a part of the process and involved in the decisions that get made, even if they have cognitive difficulties. Long term care decisions are a team effort, not something you do and then tell them about.
One of the long term care decisions you’ll need to make with your parents is where they will live. If they’re able to afford in-home care or you or a sibling can move in with them to help with their care, then it might be feasible for them to stay in their home.
However, one of the dilemmas with where your aging parents will live may arise with their current house. As your parents age, they will be less able to walk up and down stairs. If their current home is a two-level home, with bedrooms on the second floor, this may be not be safe for them.
If a room downstairs can be converted into a bedroom and there’s a full bathroom downstairs, you and your parents can decide the make the lower level of their house their living space. If you or a sibling is moving in with them, and one or both needs constant attention and/or care (people with dementia, for example, tend to wander in the middle stages of the disease, so someone needs to be nearby at all times so they don’t leave the house and wander off), you or the sibling will need to live downstairs with them.
Maybe your parents want to sell this house and move to a house that better meets their needs. As part of a long term care strategy, this is a good decision, but you will most likely have to bear the brunt of the home-selling process, the home-buying process, the packing, the move, and the unpacking.
It may be that you and your parents decide that them moving in with you is best for everyone. If that’s the case, then you’ll need to decide together what will be done with their home. Your parents may want to keep it as part of their estate, or they may want to let another family move in and make it their home. In this case, you’ll need to make sure, if your parent’s home isn’t paid off, that the mortgage stays current, home insurance is paid on time, and property taxes are paid each year.
Having your parents move in with you is often the best first approach to long term care (in some cases, one or both of your parents may have significant health challenges that require skilled nursing, and you will have to move one or both of them into a skilled nursing facility). However, that means your home will need adaptations to meet their needs.
That may require building an addition to your home that can be an apartment for your parents. The bathroom will need to be equipped for easy mobility and safety (perhaps wheelchair accessibility, a walk-in shower with sturdy safety bars, a raised toilet seat, etc.). Now is the time to plan for your parent’s long term care. They may not need it now, but they will need it.