Studies show that a growing number of elderly Americans are hoping to age in place rather than moving to assisted living communities. Of course, that’s not always possible. When aging loved ones are struggling to take care of themselves and handle everyday tasks, allowing them to remain at home may not be the best option.
Based on the latest reports, an estimated one million people in the United States are currently relying on elderly assisted living. That figure is expected to double within the next ten years. While assisted living communities offer a long list of benefits for aging parents, family members often disagree on whether they’re the most suitable solution.
Factors to Consider When Determining Whether Assisted Living Is the Right Solution
Family disputes over the care of elderly parents are more common than many people realize. Those who are currently arguing with siblings, or even their aging parents, over the best type of care certainly aren’t alone. Keeping certain factors in mind when discussing senior living can minimize those disputes and ensure the right decision is made to suit elderly parents’ unique requirements.
One of the main factors to consider is how much help aging parents may need. That varies greatly among the elderly. Some only require occasional assistance with cleaning and other chores whereas others need continual help with bathing, cooking, and additional everyday tasks.
For those in the former category, help from adult children or at-home caregivers may be the best solution. On the latter end of the spectrum, an assisted living community in Redding, CA, would most likely be the more suitable choice. That’s especially true if the majority of the caregiving responsibilities would fall on one person or no one in the family can feasibly provide around-the-clock care and supervision.
This is where a great deal of family conflict comes into play when deciding to place aging parents in assisted living. Siblings who aren’t tasked with the bulk of mom and dad’s care don’t fully understand just how much of a responsibility it can be. Make a list of all the issues parents are facing in terms of their care needs. Be sure to include all the responsibilities that fall on the primary caregiver as well. That may be enough to convince argumentative siblings that the time has come for assisted living.
Division of Responsibilities
That brings us to the next point. Though it may be uncomfortable, a conversation eventually has to take place regarding who handles most of the responsibilities of mom and dad’s care. When it all falls on the shoulders of a single person, it can be incredibly overwhelming.
Research indicates that caring for an elderly parent can take a considerable toll on those who handle most of the burden. Family caregivers are at an increased risk of developing anxiety and depression. Their physical health may also suffer.
Granted, it’s not always possible for all siblings to join in those caregiving duties. Some may live too far away to do so. Others might have young children or work long hours, so helping out with mom and dad’s care just isn’t an option.
Though the siblings who don’t have a hand in taking care of mom and dad may not fully understand just how difficult providing care for seniors can be, this needs to be brought to their attention. If possible, dividing those responsibilities among siblings can help lighten the load. Still, as mentioned, that’s not always possible. Some siblings aren’t even willing to lend a hand.
At the very least, dividing up the responsibilities may show those who don’t actively participate in caregiving duties exactly how much time and effort is involved. Doing so could change the minds of those who are opposed to placing mom and dad in an assisted living community. Though this may not sit well with certain siblings, and it may seem a bit cold, those who are unwilling or unable to help take care of aging parents shouldn’t really have a say in what the best course of action would be.
Finding Help with Aging Parents Who Need Extra Care
Numerous solutions are available when it comes to caring for aging parents. Assisted living communities are one option, but several additional resources are also available. They include professional home care providers and respite care to give primary family caregivers a much-needed break. Although all family members may not agree on what’s best for mom and dad, their needs, as well as those of the siblings who shoulder the bulk of the responsibilities, should be taken into account.
At Sundial Assisted Living, we’re dedicated to providing customized care for senior citizens in Redding, California. We offer a variety of solutions, including respite care and assisted living. Our team is committed to providing the highest level of care to ensure our residents are happy and healthy.