Families are contending with a wide array of issues these days, and it can sometimes be too much to bear. Today, parents need to deal with the Boomerang Generation: children who leave home and then return after failing to succeed in the world. Parents are also fighting a rising cost of living, higher taxes and a questionable national economy. There is one more challenge: aging parents.
Let’s be honest: it can be a tumultuous experience to have an ailing 68-year-old mother living at home. When they’re not feeling well, they require personal care and attention. As studies have found, caregiving can be a tremendous strain on an entire household, emotionally or financially.
What’s the solution? Many families are looking into retirement homes, senior residences that offer that personal care and attention – and a little something more. You may have fears and apprehensions about placing your senior father or mother, grandmother or grandfather into these retirement communities, but oftentimes it is for the best. The hardest part may be getting them to agree to this in the first place!
Here are five tips for transitioning your parents into a retirement:
1. Select the Best Retirement Home
Retirement homes, whether they’re publicly-run or in the private sector, are vastly different from what they were just 30 years ago. They are modern, clean and fun with lots of social activities to do.
That said, there will always be the one that ruins it for the rest of the industry. It is up to you weed out the terrible retirement homes and choose the best ones for your dad or mom.
You don’t want to place your senior parents in a horrific setting, no matter the cost.
2. Do Your Due Diligence at Initial Consultation
Do you want to know how you select the best retirement homes? It’s simple: do your due diligence; put on your Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot cap and do some investigation.
Here are some tips for your initial consultation:
- Eat the food at breakfast, lunch and dinner to test out the meals.
- Keep an eye on the staff; ensure they are pleasant and professional.
- Walk around the community and determine if everything is clean.
- Talk to some of the other residents to see how they like their stay.
- Are they disability-friendly? Look for handrails, guardrails and others.
By performing these methods, you can be rest assured your parents are in great hands.
3. Make a Promise to Pay a Weekly Visit
The worst thing you can do is drop off your parents at the retirement home and then leave, only seeing them once in a while. You should refrain from doing this heelish act.
Instead, make a promise to pay them a weekly visit with the children. And you must keep this promise – you should also make a surprise visit during the week to make them happy.
4. Bring Your Parents Home on Holidays
Never, ever abandon your parents on holidays or special occasions. Christmas or high school graduation, Thanksgiving or birth of a grandchild, you should bring your aging parents home so they can enjoy family festivities as well.
5. Ensure They Have Their Personal Items
You should never want your parents to feel alone and alienated. You want them to feel as if they’re simply moving into a new residence. This can be accomplished by ensuring they have their personal items with them in your new home: family photos, a few pieces of furniture and favorite books or motion pictures. Want to amplify this? Give them a computer and teach them how to use Skype!
Retirement homes have greatly improved in recent years. They aren’t like Grandpa Simpson’s retirement home in “The Simpsons.” They are clean, crisp and comfortable. Most important of all, they are affordable, too – you can also receive tax deductions, tax credits and other benefits. You may feel like a coward placing your sick and old mother and/or father in a retirement home, but it may be for their own good. As long as you stick by them, they’ll have a smooth transition.