How And When To Intervene To Get Your Aging Parent Help

smiling motherIf you have found yourself in the position of having to care for your aging parent or family member then I am sure you will agree that it can be a daunting task.  And when you try to find information online to help guide you through the process you will feel even more overwhelmed as there is so much information out there.  The easy part of caring for an aging senior is normally finding resources and care options.  The hard part is dealing with the emotional challenges that come along and how and when to intervene.  It is important to understand that every situation is unique, so there really isn’t a wrong or right answer as you will need to come up with a unique solution.  Here are a few things to take into consideration as you go down this path in your life.

There is a fine line between too much and too little intervention when it comes to seniors and because of this delicate balance it can be hard to walk that fine line.  Autonomy is the key principle that must always be at the top of your mind when it comes to assisting an aging parent.  According to the Journal of Marriage and Family, seniors respond better to some assistance in the beginning, but not a whole lot as they may feel that their autonomy is being eroded and they are losing their independence.  This research study was done in 1996.

In the ideal situation, you should begin talking with your aging parents about getting assistance, long before they need it and the best approach is to introduce some hypothetical situations such as “If” a certain situation were to happen, what would they like to see happen.  What you will find however is that most seniors will want to maintain their independence and stay at home.  And there are definitely options for in home care, but you should still try to explore other options such as assisted living, as depending on their situation or health condition, in home care may not be the best option for them.  You could even visit a few retirement communities close by, just to get a better understanding of what seniors like most about these types of 55 and over communities.

The number one fear that seniors have about moving into an assisted living or nursing home is that they will be losing their independence.  But what most seniors don’t understand is that with the right level of support, they could actually increase their independence, which is one of the main goals of these types of senior living facilities.  It is not uncommon for seniors that were initially resistant to assisted living to later say they wish they had made the move sooner after they have actually resided in an assisted living facility as in most cases seniors will find a new lease on life within these senior living communities.  The greatest benefit that seniors like is that the choice of residing in an assisted living community will relieve some of the burden off their caregivers or adult children so they both can worry less, as the support that the senior requires is now shifted from the children to the community.

old parents togetherThe million dollar question however, is to determine when is the right time to actually make the move?  From our experience, typically the best time for seniors to make the move is when they are experiencing some forms of social isolation and the reason is, senior that experience social isolation can develop both physical decline and rapid mental deterioration.

The U.S. Administration on Aging did some research in the past and according to that research, here are the main warning signs that you should be aware of that will tell you if your loved one is in need of assistance.

  •     If you notice a change in their eating habits
  •     Personal hygiene is being neglected
  •     Chores around the home like cleaning is being neglected
  •     Displaying inappropriate behavior
  •     Changes in their relationships
  •     Signs of weakness
  •     Forgetfulness
  •     Medications not taken as prescribed
  •     No longer participating in activities that they enjoyed in the past

It is not uncommon for family members to notice the changes before the senior does and it’s important for you to decide which one of the above behaviors can be a potential risk to them and which ones are just from us worrying about them.  This is why it is wise to sometimes ask an objective person for their opinion, which could be anyone that does not have any emotional ties to this particular situation.  Most staff members in a nursing home or an assisted living facility are there to listen when you call and can help you understand the situation better.

When you have a concern with a particular situation, you should not make statements when you do talk to them about it, instead you should put your statement in the form of a question, this way they will not get on the defensive.  Your loved one will probably already know what needs to be done, but they also know if they admit to it then it will bring about fear and apprehension.  However, if you want to help them to get to the same conclusion and you, then all you have to do is be supportive and patient with them.  We all know that it is an unfortunate fact of life and sometimes it will take some type of a crisis, before your aging parent will agree to get help in the form of in home care or make the move to some type of a senior living facility.

What Are The Different Housing Options for Seniors?

Coming to terms with the need for senior living accommodations is tough. Once you reach that point, it’s important to learn about the different options you have. Take a look below to get some insight on the most common housing options available to seniors.

Assisted Living

Someone requiring assisted living will struggle with some of their daily activities. It could be anything from remembering to take their pills on time to using the stove the right way, or even just safely using the bathroom. Assisted living facilities can feature condo-style layouts, or may be simpler rooms. This is a costlier living option, but will provide seniors with the most comfortable and sanitary living accommodations possible.

Independent Living

Someone requiring independent living will be able to handle their daily responsibilities. They simply want a senior-friendly living environment. An independent living facility could be a seniors-only apartment complex, a retirement community, or even a “village” exclusively for seniors.

Nursing Home

Someone requiring a nursing home stay will not be able to manage all of their daily activities on their own. Nursing homes also accommodate those with more serious medical problems. These homes provide all that an assisted living environment offers, and go further with a higher level of medical care.

Home Health Care

Someone requiring home health care services will be able to manage themselves each day with a little help every once in a while. This may be as simple as having a nurse stop in once or twice a week to check up on you. The home health care option is good if you’re mentally prepared to stay home throughout your more difficult times. However, you don’t want to worsen your health without realizing simply because you don’t want to give up on your home.


You want to choose an environment to live in that accommodates your health and social status. Consider what medical assistance you need, and will need in the future, before deciding where to relocate. It’s hard to move out of your house, but getting the right care and staying social is what matters most.


What You Need To Know About Elder Care Facilities

assisted senior livingThey were more like a Retirement neighborhood when Assisted Living Facilities were first produced. They would have to go and leave the center to a Skilled Nursing House if an individual had incontinence concerns or needed more personal care. At some point, the health care and the government market interacted to produce regulated areas to offer proper care to fulfill the demands of each person. As soon as the Assisted Living Facilities were developed, the demand for various other sorts of alternative housing came to light such as Independent Living, Grown Up Household Care Houses and Alzheimer-Dementia Systems.

In Florida, little, six-bed centers (private houses) are acquiring appeal due to the truth that they can offer much more tailored care. They are certified and managed by the same firms that govern all the Assisted Living Facilities, despite the size.  Many individuals do not entirely comprehend the idea of, or exactly what is in fact provided in an Assisted Living Center (ALF).

A potential prospect for an ALF is usually in the requirement of a minimum of several Tasks of Daily Living (ADLs). A few of the ADLs are showering, dressing, toileting and medicine management. The personnel of an ALF is trained to offer help with all those ADLs in addition to house cleaning, laundry, transport and everyday tasks. Many centers are spent for by private, “out of pocket” funds.

Monetary help can be discovered with the Veteran’s Administration, Long Term Care Insurance coverage, and state programs if specific requirements are satisfied. The very best method to explain Assisted Living is to think about it as a bridge in between living in your home and residing in a Skilled Nursing Center.

Assisted Living has domestic focus with a homelike environment while a Retirement home is mostly a clinical organization. Positioning Counselors have been assisting households discover positioning for their liked ones given that 1999. We offer trained therapists who have been in the health care field for over Twenty Years and are educated in all elements of positioning consisting of all monetary programs readily available.

Numerous households feel they wish to keep their parents “in your home” for as long as possible. The fact is, keeping them in the house could not be in their finest interest, if left at the house alone or with simply one caretaker for just a couple of hours a day, Mama or Father will not get the social communication they require. The most vital thing is never to jeopardize the care of your parents. If being “in the house” cannot offer the appropriate care physically and mentally, then it’s time to provide them exactly what they are so deserving of, a very carefully selected Assisted Living Center.

How To Deal With The Emotions Of Helping An Aging Parent?

At some point or another, as an adult, we will come across a moment when we realize that our aging parent is getting old.  Sometimes it is as simple as we start to notice that they are getting weak and frail, others will see it after the death of their spouse or some other life changing event or maybe it is after they had to be admitted to the hospital for a few days.  When we get to this point, we start to feel a variety of emotions such as:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Concern
  • Nostalgia
  • Sadness
  • Fear

It is then that we feel emotionally uncertain about helping our aging parent starts.  And if there needs to be an intervention to handle the situation best, then it is not uncommon to experience a plethora of emotions.

Dynamics of the family

The good thing about doing this as a family is that you can do it together instead of approaching it on your own.  Sometimes this type of situation can bring out the worst and best in everyone, so be prepared and be patient with everyone involved.  This is why it is an excellent idea for families to start discussing the long-term care needs of your loved one before they need help, this way by the time they are in need of help, things will go a lot smoother.  Don’t get me wrong; it will still be stressful regardless, but preparation can make the transition a whole lot easier.
dealing with emotions
How to sort out the emotions

There is no doubt the emotions you will feel will be complicated, because you not only have to deal with your feelings, you will also have to help your aging parent through their emotional roller coaster.  Some of the emotional feelings that you that everyone involved may go through are:

  • Universal guilt
  • Financial fears
  • Losing the family home
  • Change of the parents’ role in the family
  • Unresolved issues with a parent
  • You will start to think about your mortality and aging process
  • Taking a caregiver role which may cause resentment

Stress can sometimes take an emotional toll on everyone involved and as a caretaker you will probably have to start helping your aging parent with some of their day to day activities such as:

  • Medical concerns
  • Legal issues
  • Financial issues
  • Tasks that need to be completed
  • Decisions that need to be made

So what is the best way for a person in this situation to handle the wave of emotions?

First, it is important to understand that feeling stressed during times like this is normal, so if you feel emotions like guilt, worry, resentment or anger you should know that this is not unusual.  But here are a few tips that will help you to navigate when the stress levels go through the roof:

The feelings of anger are a secondary emotion that you may feel from time to time that is associated with sadness.  One of the best ways to overcome anger is first to acknowledge it and then see if you can find a healthy way to let it go and express your feelings.  Here are some questions to ask yourself that can help you to sort out anger.

  • Do I need to talk to someone to find ways to let things go?
  • Do I need to talk to someone to work things out?
  • Do I need time to grieve?
  • What am I hurt by?  Was it something somebody did or say?
  • Do I need to be more assertive?
  • Am I setting the right boundaries?
  • Am I saying yes to everything when I mean NO?
  • Am I getting treated poorly?
  • Am I taking on way too much than I can handle right now?

Resentment typically comes about when there is more than one sibling, and one or more sibling is feeling that they are doing way more than their older siblings.  You could feel this way if you are in a situation where you feel you had no say and you were put into a position, not by choice, such as getting the role to be a caretaker or sometimes the emotion of resentment could come about because you have some unmet expectations.  Sometimes it is hard to come to terms with the feelings of resentment because you feel like you shouldn’t be feeling this way.  Ask yourself these questions to figure out your sense of resentment:

  • Do I need to meet with the other family members and discuss with them how each responsibility should be handled evenly among each other?
  • Am I taking on more responsibilities than I can handle?
  • Am I having realistic expectations of my other family members and myself?  And can I let those expectations go if necessary?
  • How do I best take care of myself?

When you have an aging parent that their condition is uncertain or changing, then you normally are going to start to worry.  Sometimes when we feel out of control, fear can give us a false sense of security where we feel like we are in control.  Anxiety typically leads to higher stress levels and brings about a lot of “what if” questions.  Here are a few questions to help you figure out the feelings of worry:

  • At this point how do I go about living one day at a time?
  • What are the things that I have control over in my situation?
  • What things can I put in place to help me feel more secure?
  • Is it ok to just focus on worrying at a given moment of the day and then let it go for the rest of my time?

Anyone that cares for an aging parent will feel some form of guilt and most family members find themselves in this situation because they set unrealistic expectations for themselves.  You are probably encouraging the feelings of guilt if you often find yourself saying “I Should”  It is important to remember that you are doing the best job that you can do right now, so be patient and don’t beat yourself up too much.  Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I asking for help?
  • Am I taking care of myself?
  • Am I too hard on myself?

You should know that you are not alone if you are feeling any of these emotions that are associated with helping a loved one that is aging.  This is why it is important that you find an assisted living or nursing homes that understands these emotions and that will listen to you and your loved one, as they can help you find solutions.

Dental Technology Is Opening New Doors For Seniors

DentistOne of the old world myths that somehow stills get perpetuated about aging is the idea that at the end of the night, you would eventually wind up taking your teeth out of your mouth, and placing them in a glass of either water or cleaning fluid before you went to bed.

This is something that no longer happens. In fact, dentures today make what your grandmother had to wear, seem archaic. All of the innovations in dental technology that revolve around missing teeth are due to the creation of the implant.

Dental implants are metal posts drilled into the jawbone, allowed to heal, and are topped off by cementing a crown on top, designed to look, and feel, like the missing tooth. In most instances, they work so well, the patient, at times, forgets they have an implant in their mouth.

If your jawbone is not healthy enough to undergo the implant procedure, new methods are being developed that allow the dentist to heal the bone enough to withstand the pressure of the surgery. Implants are now a reality for people of almost any age; including seniors.

If defying your age is at the top of your agenda, then you may want to consider having implants placed. To learn more, visit today!

What do You need To Know About Senior Living Options?

hands-981400_640What assisted living means for senior citizens that need assistance with doing some or all of their daily lives is dignity and freedom. To give you an idea of what type of facility an assisted living is, it is somewhere in the middle between independent living and nursing homes. Independent living communities are for seniors that want to live on you their own, but who do not want to do the tasks of maintaining their home. And seniors get to be around other seniors that are of the same age and who share some of the same interests. These independent living retirement communities have several different social activities, community service and trips for their senior residents. Some independent living facilities will also provide meal preparation for an additional fee and other services and amenities.

What is the difference between independent living and assisted living?

The key difference to the residents that live in independent living and others that stay in an assisted living, are the ones in assisted living are not able to live alone safely, but at the same time they are somewhat independent, and they do not need the specialized care that will come with residing in a nursing home.

What’s the difference between assisted living and nursing homes?

The main difference is that nursing homes are set up to care for seniors that are too weak for independent living and who also need skilled nursing supervision. Seniors that are self-sufficient or who only need to be assisted with some of their daily living activities are a better fit for an assisted living.

Assisted living residences encourage their residents to be an independent as possible. There are some facilities that are referred to as continuing care communities, which is a combination of assisted living, independent living, and nursing homes. These communities offer seniors easier transition from one community to the next, if and when their health improves over time.

What’s The Difference Between Assisted Living & Independent Living?

If you are the caregiver for an aging parent, then there will come a time when you will start to realize that it is time that you consider moving them into some type of senior living communities.  This will be by no means an easy decision for anyone, but in the long run it will be the best decision for your loved one as well as yourself.  Now with all of the many different senior housing options available for seniors, how does one go about deciding on which option is right for an elderly relative?

Well, that answer will depend on a few factors, for example, if your loved one is not in need of round the clock care and they are still independent for the most part, then there will be 2 different options that you will want to take a look at which are independent living and assisted living.

Let’s start with assisted living, these facilities are designed for seniors that cannot live alone and who have some type of special needs, but at the same time they do not require the services of a nursing home that offers extensive care.  Unlike nursing homes that have staff available 24 hours per day, assisted living facilities only have trained staff on at specific times per day, but there is always someone there to offer assistance and to provide meal preparation and housekeeping.

Independent living communities on the other hand, are great for seniors that are independent and who do not have any special needs, but need to move out of their family’s home.  Or they may have their own home, but are starting to realize that it may be too big and they want to downsize and they want to reside with other like-minded active seniors.  Independent living is a great option for seniors as it gives seniors a homelike atmosphere that is comfortable and that is developed to keep the elderly active, safe, interactive and healthy.

You can find senior communities that offer both independent living and assisted living, that way if your loved one ever needs more care, they won’t have to move very far and they will be in somewhat of a familiar environment.

Assisted living facilities offer supportive services and housing for seniors that need assistance with completing their daily activities such as medication administration, dressing, bathing and more.

Independent living are developed for seniors that want to go after their dreams of retirement while residing in a socially engaged community with other seniors that live with purpose and that have a passion for life.