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Is It Time to Help Move Mom and Dad?

As we get older our parent's become more frail and aren't safe at home alone. It's a difficult time for them too. They must come to terms with the fact that they are no longer able to live independently at home and maintaining the home has become a huge undertaking.

These changes can frustrate the adult children who are worried about their parents or another elderly relative's safety and well-being. The adult children begin to provide more assistance and spend more time trying to take care of their parent's issues. These working caregivers have higher rates of unexpected absenteeism, workday interruptions, supervision cost, and unpaid leave.

According to an extensive study by Metlife, reported in 2011, the cost impact of care giving on the female caregiver in terms of lost wages and Social Security benefits equals $324,044. Not to mention that these caregivers also report poor health. Whatever plans established for eldercare can quickly unravel with a change in health status or unexpected absence of a paid caregiver.

10 Tips for Employees on How to Approach this Topic with Your Mom or Dad:

  1. Assess your parent's needs. Can they maintain their home? Are they eating regular, nutritional meals? Are they active or stay home and watch TV all day? Are they safe to drive? Do they pay their own bills?
  2. Discuss options. The earlier you start discussing what your parents want the easier it is to transition them when needed. Talk about what they would like to have in their new lifestyle such as activities, restaurant-style meals, amenities, etc. Once you know what they want then when the time comes you are prepared to move them quickly and they'll be more accepting of the change.
  3. If a crisis occurs move quickly. If your parent gets sick and ends up in the hospital use the situation to help them see that it is time for a change.
  4. Don't give up. Keep talking about the future and what they want. This will help them think about the future and any objections they have. Most of their concerns will be about change. Change is scary. They may be afraid of losing their independence, losing their memories, or even think that their friends and family will forget about them and not visit.
  5. Discuss your own feelings and concerns about their aging and your limitations. Respect the fact that they have their own opinions and they are scared. Be open about what help you can provide and what help you cannot. Be understanding but firm when presenting your concerns. Talk to them as adults - they are not your children.
  6. Start touring senior communities early. Tour communities at the level your parents are at. Reduce the search to two that you think fit their personalities and then take your parents on tour. They will be less resistant if they see what's out there. Take them to lunch at the senior community and maybe some of their activities.
  7. Have them try a respite stay. A respite stay is a short-term stay to see if they'd like the community. Some communities have a minimum of one week stay and others have a three month minimum. "Try it to see if you like it" and typically the unknown becomes familiar and they are more apt to move.
  8. Moving is easy when you have help. Let them know you can help with the move. Moving is overwhelming and if there isn't anyone to help the move won't happen. Senior move managers, such as Paxem can help with the transition from start to finish.
  9. Free referral services help seniors, their families and professionals find senior housing, care and support services. Elderwerks Senior Care Consultant works closely with the family to determine the best senior housing options based on the person(s) being helped. This saves hundreds of hours, stress and since the properties in our network fund us our services are free to families in need. For your free help call us at 855-462-0100.

No one likes being told what to do. Even if your parent has cognitive disabilities they should be part of the process.

Families need more than a list of general options. They need person-centered referrals. Each employee's situation is different and by utilizing expert services the stress and time off will decrease and the productivity will increase.