How to Design a Sustainable Care Plan for an Aging Parent

It is a fragile bridge that many have to cross when they are forced to consider care options for aging parents or those with chronic health conditions. They want to do right by the people who gave them life while maintain their own careers and lifestyles. Many feel guilty not taking their parents into their own homes and providing the care first hand themselves. It is not always a workable option, though. Contrary to what many believe, their parents have likely braced themselves for their new realities. Here are some tips for making elder care decisions.

Appoint a Primary Decision-Maker

It may seem clear initially who should be the designated decision-maker for a parent's care. Often, it is the sibling who lives closest to the parent or the one who has already undertaken other duties like financial management. Initially, this is an easy consensus, but once a parent's health sharply declines, tensions and emotions can get high. Siblings may divide into two camps and squabble over major decisions. It is best to decide early on a single decision-maker and stick with it. Others may provide input, but leave the final decisions up to the designee. This is also true for power of attorney issues and healthcare directives. Put is all in writing and get it notarized.

Consider Caretakers Who Are Also Companions

Although many elders need caretakers who have skilled nursing abilities to deal with physical or mental conditions, most are looking for a friend who can help them get through each day. Often, whether choosing certified nursing assistance in Los Angeles or companion care in Washington DC, elder care planners should remember that simple, consistent human contact can be a healing therapy. More people than imaginable have experienced a decline in health simple because they have been lonely.

Ask Other Elders and Their Families About Reliable Care

The best resource for planning elder care is other elders. They can tell talk to you honestly about their experiences and alert you about important things to watch for on this journey. Be frank about your fears and concerns and they will level with you about their own. 

Elder care is a crossroads that many adults will have to face in their lifetimes. A good approach to it is continuous honesty in each phase of the process. Determining care for your parents will call for some tough decisions that may have an impact on you for years to come.